‘Don't text and drive' has fallen on deaf ears, as distracted driving accidents continue to climb. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,179 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2014. With an estimated 800,000 drivers using a cell phone and driving at any given moment (reports the National Conference of State Legislatures), the rate of accidents is likely to increase. One Canadian advertising firm’s new approach — a text and drive billboard — sheds light on the consequences.
An Eye-Catching Billboard Sends a Grim Message
The billboard first appeared in downtown Toronto with the simple message, "Text and Drive." While this may seem counter-intuitive, the bottom of the billboard shows the message comes from a funeral home. Drivers who first spotted the billboard were outraged a funeral home could develop such a crass advertisement, but a visit to the Wathan Funeral Home's website revealed the truth behind the ad.
The website reveals the true intent of the (fictitious) funeral home. The group responsible wanted to send a stronger message about the consequences of texting and driving. The message on the site expresses concern that texting and driving fatalities may soon surpass the number of people killed in drunk driving crashes.
Statistics on the website paint a dark picture of the consequences of texting and driving. According to their facts:
- In 2013, 81 people in Ontario alone were killed by distracted drivers.
- Distracted driving fatalities were 13 percent higher than speeding fatalities in 2013.
- Drivers engaged in texting while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Anti-Texting and Driving Ads Are Getting More Creative
The Canadian ad is not the first time a company has taken a unique approach to warning against texting and driving. Last year, Volkswagen brought an innovative anti-texting message to theatergoers in Hong Kong. Last month, Sprint unveiled 'The Last Emoji' — a sculpture made out of the remnants of a wrecked car. Sprint installed the art piece in Miami as a part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. Sprint is one of many cell phone carriers that have safe driving apps and programs to spread the anti-texting and driving message.
Texting and Driving Is Not the Only Distraction
While texting and driving may get the most media attention as a cause of distracted driving, it is not the only problem. There are numerous other distractions such as shifting your attention to your passengers instead of the road and eating while driving. Any time you take your eyes or mind off the road, you are driving while distracted.
Max Meyers Law salutes safe drivers who choose to put their cell phones away, reduce noise in their cars, and pay complete attention to driving. If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, you have a right to claim damages for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your right to recovery after a traffic accident: 425-399-7000.