Using dramatic scenes from “Glee,” Fox and the Ad Council are illustrating the risks of texting while driving to teens nationwide with a new series of PSAs produced in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and all 50 state attorneys general. The PSAs will run in donated TV airtime as well as online.
“Glee” fans can probably guess which episode the PSAs draw on: the cliffhanger at the end of the last season, in which Quinn Fabray, played by Dianna Agron, gets into a car wreck because she takes her eyes off the road for only a few moments to send a text message.
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 Ad Council has been working with state attorneys general to stop reckless driving by teens since 2006, and the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” campaign alone has received more than $20 million in donated media so far, according to the organization.