“Stop the Texts” Day Urges Young Adults Not to Text While Driving
State Attorneys General across the U.S. teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council to host a nationwide “Stop the Texts” Day on May 1. At the same time, the Ad Council released a new national survey finding that 44% of drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 say their friends are the most likely people to encourage them to stop texting while driving. The next most influential group to get young adults to stop texting while driving are parents (33%), according to the survey.
The “Stop the Texts” Day press release goes on to say:
Most notably, eighty-eight percent of texting drivers said a law against the behavior would encourage them to completely stop or be less likely to text while driving. Additionally, ninety-six percent of young adult drivers said large fines, a suspended license and/or jail time, higher insurance rates, and other financial and legal consequences would encourage them not to text while driving.
The goal of “Stop the Texts” Day is to extend the message of the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” texting and driving prevention PSA campaign via social media to educate young drivers about the risks of texting while driving. The groups hosting the day have released new public service announcements featuring NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne.
“Our latest research shows that young adult drivers continue to text and drive even with the knowledge that the act can seriously injure or kill others or themselves,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “With the help of NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne®, we are sending a wake-up call to young adult drivers that if you take your eyes off the road to read or respond to text messages there can be unfortunate consequences.”
The “Stop the Texts” campaign invites people to visit http://stopthetexts.adcouncil.org/stop-texts-day for information, suggestions, and downloads to help to get the message out. According to the “Stop the Texts” press release, distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. In 2009, nearly 500,000 people were injured and over 5,000 were killed due to various forms of distracted driving, including texting while driving. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.
David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said, “Distracted driving is a deadly practice that can have devastating consequences on our nation’s roadways — that’s why we are encouraging young drivers to stay focused and never text behind the wheel.”
The “Stop the Texts” Day consortium recommends the following actions to get young people to stop texting while driving:
- Post social media updates on Facebook and Twitter about the risks of texting while driving
- Retweet posts from @stopthetexts and its Facebook fan page
- Change your Facebook profile photo and/or your Twitter profile photo to the Stop the Texts logo
- Write an open letter to young adults urging them not to text while driving, then post it at stopthetexts.tumblr.com
- Share the campaign’s image and video infographics that depict the risks of texting while driving
- Take the following poll on what motivates you not to text and drive on the Stop the Texts Facebook page. Then share the results with your friends.
- Write a blog post or mention Stop the Texts in your organization’s e-newsletter. Suggested blog post and e-newsletter copy are on the STOP THE TEXTS Day tab at http://stopthetexts.adcouncil.org, but feel free to write in your own voice!
- Send an e-card to a friend.
- Tell your teen they risk their life and the lives of others when they text while driving
- Don’t text while driving
- You are 23 times more likely to get into a crash if you text while driving. In honor of @StopTheTexts Day, share this statistic with a friend.
- 34% of teens who drive distracted say they’re used to multi-tasking. Post this status message on Facebook if you’re against “multi-tasking” while driving!
- Share your story of how texting while driving has impacted you, at http://ht.ly/amVEI
In the kvue.com blog post titled “No More Texting While Driving!,” The Kid’s Doctor writes:
Parents, educators and national safety campaigns are going to have to take this issue and make it a national safety campaign. There are not enough police to stop every driver who is texting, but there are enough parents to keep up the work and get the word out to every new driver on up, including ourselves. TEXTING and driving is not safe. It can kill you or someone else. Let’s not just make it a day, week or month to observe. We all need to put down the phones while driving, 365 days a year, as nothing is that important!! I hope my own children are reading this as well.
Image by Ad Council, Stop the Texts Day, used under Fair Use: Reporting.