Texting While Driving is Scary

Graphic Ad Meant to Scare Teenagers out of Texting While Driving

As part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) launched a campaign called “U Text. U Drive. U Pay.” The ad campaign coincided with a nationwide crackdown on distracted driving by law enforcement. The campaign features a shocking ad aimed at frightening teens agers out of texting while driving.


First National Campaign Targeting Distracted Driving

At present, only 43 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have bans on texting for drivers of all ages. This is the first DOT campaign to combat distracted driving, coordinating an 8.5 million dollar advertising campaign, which ran from April 7 through April 15, with a national high-visibility law enforcement crackdown on distracted drivers which ran from April 10 to April 15.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) more than 3,300 people were killed and about 420,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents in the U.S., in 2012. The campaign is part of an effort to combat distracted driving with the same intensity as the fight against drunk driving. However, the extent of enforcement and penalties vary by jurisdiction depending on state and local laws.

The Ad

The ad, titled “Manifesto,” features actors who appear to be teenagers or young adults, obviously targeting young drivers. While there is no blood or gore, the video is jarring and violent. Hopefully the message will get through to drivers of all ages, and have a real impact on driving behavior.