New PSA Features Glee’s Distracted Driving Crash Scene
As this blog noted back in April, the popular-with-teens TV show “Glee” featured distracted driving in its storyline, when the screen went black after Glee drama queen Quinn Fabray texted while driving and her VW Beetle was sideswiped by a truck.
Now, as Erik Sass reports for MediaPost.com, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and the Ad Council have teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and all 50 state attorneys general to produce a series of public service announcements (PSAs) using that same dramatic scene from Glee to deter teens from texting while driving.
The scene highlights, in vivid fashion, the message that even five seconds is too long to take your eyes off the road. According to the NHTSA, a car traveling 55 miles per hour can traverse a football field in that amount of time. The PSAs also direct viewers to visit the campaign’s dedicated Web site, StopTextsStopWrecks.org.
The new PSAs capitalize on the popularity of ‘Glee’ to reach the crucial target demo for the anti-texting campaign: young adults ages 16-24. Studies have shown that young drivers suffer a disproportionate number of accidents due to distracted driving, including texting and talking on the phone. Over 3,000 people were killed and 416,000 injured due to distracted driving in 2010, per the NHTSA.
The PSAs will run online in addition to on television, in donated airtime. More than $20 million of air time has been donated to the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” campaign, Sass writes. The PSAs could run on the Fox network during “Glee,” according to Ad Council spokeswoman Lisa Cullen, as Associated Press writes in an article on CBSNews.com.
Erik Gruenwedel writes in HomeMedia Magazine that the PSAs began airing on Wednesday, and feature the scene in which Quinn Fabray (played by Dianna Agron) was driving to the wedding of her friends Rachel and Finn (played by Lea Michele and Cory Monteith) when she received a text. She took her eyes off the road to read it and typed, “On my way,” when she swerved out of lane and was hit by the truck. “It took months before ‘Glee’s’ viewers would know the fate of her character,” Gruenwedel writes.
As a result of the texting while driving, the Glee character Quinn Fabray “was seriously hurt in a crash and her legs were paralyzed,” Associated Press writes.
Glee co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy said the show has influence and can foster conversations and raise awareness. Associated Press quotes Murphy as saying in a statement, “We had been looking for an opportunity to tell the story of how a few seconds of carelessness could have a devastating impact on people’s lives.”
The debut of the PSAs comes at the same time as the announcement of a federal grant program that will give up to $17.5 million to states with laws banning distracted driving, Associated Press notes.
You can see one of the new PSAs here:
And you can find suggestions for how to get the “don’t text and drive” message out on social media at http://www.http://stopthetexts.adcouncil.org/.