The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Ad Council are launching a new national campaign aimed to increase awareness of the perils of texting while driving. The
campaign, "Stop the Texts," via Santa Monica, Calif.-based RPA, makes its point by juxtaposing the idea of texting while driving with other activities that are intimate, dangerous, or require intense
concentration. The campaign also brings in NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne as a spokesperson to educate young drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.
The campaign follows the revelation from NHTSA, the State Attorneys General, Consumer Protection Agencies and the Ad Council (which did the survey) that 60% of young adult drivers ages 16-to-24 have texted while driving. NHTSA data shows that distracted driving is the leading cause of teen mortality.
Using a “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” tag, the effort also has a social media component on Facebook and Twitter. The television, radio and digital PSAs show a young couple about to make out when a text balloon appears between them. Cut to a surgeon about to do a tricky procedure when he is distracted by a text. A skydiver is pelted by text balloons as he falls. Finally, a guy feeding branches into a wood chipper is interrupted by a text balloon that makes it impossible for him to see what he's doing. Then he feeds the balloon into the chipper. Kahne appears at the end to say young adults should leave the dangerous driving to the pros. The PSAs direct audiences to StopTextsStopWrecks.org.
Since 2006, the Ad Council has partnered with the State Attorneys General to address reckless driving among teens. To date, the campaign has received more than $98.2 million in donated media support.