Teen-created PSAs combat distracted drivingWed, 30 Jan 2013
Two widely held assumptions about 21st-century American teenagers is that they're too busy with their smartphones to have any interest in cars and that any who manage to find their way behind the wheel are too distracted to drive safely anyway.
These generalizations are broad, unfair and perhaps even counterproductive -- yet they're reinforced every time distracted driving leads to a preventable tragedy.
That's why we were glad to see young drivers take action by creating a series of anti-distracted-driving public safety announcements for the Teens Drive Smart Video Contest. That program is supported by Bridgestone, which has just announced that the top PSAs from the 2012 contest will be made available for television broadcast.
Here's how Bridgestone describes some of the selected shorts:
-- “A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers” is a group of sentences that initially illustrate a negative attitude toward teen drivers, but when read in reverse order, the words present a unique and positive message about teen driving.
-- The video “August 19” was made by a student whose friend died last fall in a distracted-driving accident. It encourages drivers to stay focused and alert behind the wheel.
-- Animated characters are used in “My Distractions” [shown above] to illustrate how dangerous distractions can be when you're driving.
-- “Save a Life” shows what can happen when you decide to text behind the wheel and how a simple text can alter your life forever.
-- “It Can Wait” illustrates situations where you would never consider texting in order to drive home the point that texting while driving is a poor choice for anyone.
Of course, you don't have to wait to catch these on TV: they're available right now on YouTube and at teensdrivesmart.com. We don't care if you view them on your computer or stream them to your smartphone, but if you choose the latter option, make sure you're not behind the wheel.
By Graham Kozak