In the past we've focused on the risks involved with texting and driving. And even though in Tennessee it is against the law to text while driving, the truth remains that a number of people still take the chance to shoot off a quick message while behind the wheel of a car. And while for many a quick typed response may not seem like a big deal, the risk for getting into an accident due to distracted driving is very serious.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 alone there were close to 5,000 people killed due to a driver being distracted. Another 448,000 were injured. Along those same lines, a Pew study found that 40 percent of all teens reported being in a car, while the driver was using a cellphone in a way that put others in danger. This could include texting, or being distracted by talking on the phone and driving.
To try and combat distracted driving the U.S. Department of Transportation has teamed up this week with Regal Cinema to air two separate public service announcements that are geared toward young drivers. The hope is that by showing these PSAs on movie screens and gas station pump-top screens across the country, teens will get the message to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel and their mind on the road while driving.
These PSAs will also use popular shorthand texts like "LOL" and "L8R" to attract the attention of teen drivers. In total, the short clips will be shown on 12,000 screen tops at gas stations, and another 6,589 movie screens, across the country.