YouTube and government agencies are showing videos in an attempt to try to get teenagers and young adults to stop texting while driving. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In the rap video “I’m a Textpert Rap Battle” Rhett and Link rap in funky fake cars about how cool they are because they can text and drive. Guess what happens? They crash into each other. The video has over half a million views since April 7 and links to http://www.distraction.gov/.
The video is filled with YouTube personalities and links to the personalities, with requests watchers “favorite” the people in the video.
The characters act like they are cool and won’t get hurt. But in the end after the crash it states “If you are texting, you are not driving.”
Rhett & Link also offer the Get Off the Phone Song that sounds like a softer version of the “Textpert Rap” song.
On the other side of the video road, new ads from NHTSA offer a more realistic brutal crash, which is called grisly with the tag line “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” for one video with words from a police officer warning of ticketing.
Law enforcement agencies across the country will be cracking down on cellphone and texting while driving from April 10-15 supported by a $8.5 million national advertising campaign.
NHTSA has found these types of campaigns have been successful in in California and Delaware for “Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.”
In more than three enforcement waves, California police issued over 10,700 tickets for violations involving drivers talking or texting on cell phones. In Delaware police issued more than 6,200 tickets. Observed hand-held cell phone use dropped by approximately a third at each program site, from 4.1 percent to 2.7 percent in California, and from 4.5 percent to 3.0 percent in Delaware.
NTTSA suggests to prevent distracted driving
- Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive. Set a good example for young drivers.
- Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
- When you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving, speak up.
- Offer to make the call for the driver, so he/she can drive without being distracted.
- Always wear your seat belt, the best defense for safety.
Other places where police are ticketing this month are Fargo, ND, Fremont, CA, Dublin CA, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Maui Hawaii, Oswego NY and more. Check “Distracted Driving” for your area.
Let’s hope these campaigns work before more lives are lost because 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.