Texting or updating your Facebook status, posting to Twitter or even talking on the phones while driving is at least as dangerous as drunk driving, according to research from Professor David Lee Strayer at University of Utah. So how do you get kids to disconnect while on behind the wheel?
An annual public awareness campaign from the National Organizations for Youth Safety is trying a hair of the dog remedy. Called Million Messages in May, the celebrity-studded campaign asks that teens send out a million driving safety messages during the month of May.
The press release says that just the celebrity portion of the campaign has already generated 5 million messages via social networks. So mission accomplished, right?
Across the globe, traffic accidents are the number one killer of teens. And social networking is a notable contributor to the carnage. Who among us hasn’t either texted while driving or turned to the next car over and seen that driver texting? A number of state and local laws specifically outlaw texting while driving.
So using social networks...that is, the hair of the dog... to get the word out is like using the packaging on food products to promote hunger relief.
Trouble is, while texting or Tweeting an update are many times more distracting to drivers than just talking on a mobile device, Professor Strayer’s research clearly shows that just talking… whether hands-free or not… is as dangerous as drunk driving.
The message from NOYS has to be put your phone away while driving.