Drivers in the state of Tennessee have been prohibited from texting behind the wheel for over a year now, but teenage drivers aren’t getting the message. Teenage drivers across the state are still using the cell phones to text message one another, endangering themselves and innocent drivers everywhere. For this reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper are teaming up to push the “OMG” public service announcement (PSA) and other anti-texing campaigns. Officials are using these campaigns to raise awareness in these young drivers about the dangers of texting and driving and the risks for a distraction-related car accident in Maryville and elsewhere.
“Teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to distracted driving, which is why we are making an extra effort to ensure they understand the dangers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Our Maryville car accident attorneys understand how serious a problem texting teens pose other motorists on our roadways. According to the State of Tennessee’s Attorney Generals Office, distracted driving-related accidents are the number one killer of teenagers in the U.S. Nearly 20 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in a fatal accident were reported to have been distracted behind the wheel. Teen drivers who text behind the wheel are 25 percent more likely to get into a serious accident than those who are focused on the roadway.
“Imagine closing your eyes while driving for the amount of time it takes to read a text message,” said Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper. “Reading a text message is no less dangerous than any other diversion that takes your eyes off the road, and it can carry deadly consequences.”
The NHTSA’s “OMG” campaign was recently released on the Distraction.gov website and is available for viewing at roughly 12,000 gas station pump-top screens owned by Outcast PumpTop TV and on roughly 6,600 movie screens in nearly 550 cinemas across the country during the month of December.
Through the holiday season, teenagers will be enjoying a winter break away from school and will be venturing out on our roadways for holiday vacations. The “OMG” PSA uses teen lingo, inducing “LOL and “L8R,” to communicate its important safe driving message with these young drivers.
We understand that teenagers want to stay connected with their friends though various social networks and through text messaging, but it’s important to teach our young drivers that there’s a time and place for that, and it’s not behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The new campaign urges teenagers to make smart decisions while driving through the congested holiday traffic.
Parents are urged to talk with the teen drivers in their life about the serious risks and consequences of taking their eyes off the roadway while driving, if even for a few seconds. Have a safe and Happy Holiday and please curb all distractions while driving through the busy, winter traffic.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a distraction-related car accident in Maryville, contact Knoxville Accident Attorney Mark Hartsoe for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (877) 472-5657.
More Blog Entries:
Car Accidents in Tennessee Caused by Sleepy Drivers Targeted During Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, November 9, 2011
Distracted Driving Accident in Knoxville Seriously Injures Local Competitive Bicyclist, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, July 13, 2011