United Kingdom Texting While Driving Ad Campaign

I was driving my 16-year-old daughter to school a few years ago. She had her driver's permit and was learning to drive. She was very excited about it. She told me that there was a program at her high school that was preempted by the school. My daughter’s school felt that the content was too graphic. So, what does a 16-year-old do if her school tells her she can’t watch a video because it is too graphic? She gets on a computer and watches the program.

Related: AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ Campaign Discourages Texting and Driving

The distracted driving program
The preempted program was a community awareness ad from the United Kingdom depicting the dangers of texting and driving by teenagers. The video was very graphic. It starts by showing three teenage girls driving down the road while using a phone to send a text message to a friend. They were driving but weren't paying attention to the road. Their car went across the center line and struck another car head-on. The airbags deployed. Heads hit the windshield. There was blood everywhere. As the car came to a stop, it was T-boned by another car. One girl died in the lap of the driver.
It went on to show the families in the other cars. There was a toddler who kept asking, “Why won't mommy and daddy wake up?” A child in a car seat was also shown motionless with eyes wide open, obviously dead.

My take on the program
Although it was quite graphic, it sends a powerful message. Teenagers are new drivers and usually have no idea what the real dangers of driving are. They may not know how texting behind the wheel can affect, not only their life, but the lives of others. My old boss at the Commonwealth Attorney's Office used to refer to an automobile with a drunk driver behind the wheel as a 2-ton projectile with a license to kill. I believe he would have referred to a driver who is texting in the same way. Teen drivers need to be shown that a car is a very dangerous weapon that can kill people and change their lives forever. 

Related Video: PSA Texting while Driving U.K. Ad

The video is graphic, but no more graphic than what we watch on crime shows on television. I believe all drivers should view this. This type of public awareness ad could help make our Kentucky roads safer and help eliminate serious automobile accidents. No text or call is worth injuring yourself or killing other people.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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