8.28.2009

Feedback Friday - Texting While Driving

I can remember way back to the dark ages when I was in high school, when we were called to the auditorium several times a year to watch Public Service Announcement type movies alerting us to the dangers of smoking (shriveled up gray lungs, patients hooked up to an iron lung), chewing tobacco (pictures of guys with no lips, no teeth, no tongues), or reckless driving (interviews of victims in wheelchairs and with missing limbs).

I have to say, all of this shock value worked on me. To this day, I've only smoked one cigarette in my life and I was so paranoid as I did it I vowed to never do it again. For years, I counted the number of seconds I was behind the vehicle in front of me, and always stop at stop signs. Maybe seeing these horrors on a 6 foot tall screen really sunk into my teenage brain.

It seems one of the more dangerous things tempting today's teens is talking and texting on cell phones while driving (btw, my spell check has obviously not been brought into this decade as the word "texting" keeps getting flagged). I came across the following PSA this week and I began to wonder if this type of video, seemingly similar to those I watched as a teen, would be effective with today's teens. It seems there is a debate as to the graphic nature of the 4 minute video that some parents and professionals feel is too graphic. My boys aren't driving yet, but time sure flies. So, I need your feedback today. Take a look, what do you think?


26 comments :

  1. I saw that video a few days ago- and swore never EVER to do such a thing again! (Yes I am guilty of doing it once or twice, though I am very careful). I have NEVER been in an accident (knock on wood) and I am a careful driver. But cell phone no more!

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  2. As the parent of a 16 yr old and 19 yr old, I think that nothing can be too graphic. Hey, think about the unbelievable movies they watch now. And they think scaring the bejeezies out of them with a little gore is a bad thing? Obviously, I'm all for shock value.

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  3. Yes, it is shocking and horrible, but, I think every teen should have to watch it. My oldest just turned 16 and got his driver's permit. I will definitely show this to him (although I'm sure he will roll his eyes, but it will still make an impression on him). I just did a post yesterday about teen driving. It scares me so much to think about him being out on the road. I'm not handling it very well.

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  4. I just got that email yesterday........OMG!!! Thanks for getting the word out to bloggyland too!!

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  5. It makes me so mad when I see people texting a driving. They are not only putting themselves at risk, but every other car, pedestrian, and cyclist on the road at risk!

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  6. They did go a little heavy on the fake blood. The movie 6 Pounds did it for me.

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  8. Okay, that made me cry. I think it's perfect. Sends the message very clearly. I wouldn't hesitate to have teens watch it. This is a dose of reality that could save someone's life.

    Thanks for sharing this. I think I'll be passing it on too.

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  9. The part when they show the little baby and he's not blinking, oh my gosh. I had to keep telling myself, this isn't real, this isn't real. I have a 16 MONTH old, and I can just imagine how dangerous driving is going to be in 15 more years. I would make my kids watch it if they have a cell phone and a license, for sure.

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  10. Thanks for sharing that! I just saw a video clip this morning about a boy who spent some time in jail because he was texting while driving and hit someone, two people died. The laws have changed recently in Utah, and you can get up to 15 yrs in jail for killing someone if you are using your phone while driving!
    It's a good eye opener to get this out where people can be aware of the dangers!

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  11. ummm...i had to stop watching it when they showed the baby!

    Graphic yes but I swear I will never text again while driving!

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  12. I saw the video and thought it was too graphic. I know we can only do so much to protect our children, and perhaps I'm naive for believing that my nagging, I mean consistency is enough. I'm the parent of a teen, I remind him everytime he bumps into the sofa table whilst texting that he is not an avid multitasker, and he agrees. As for the video-I'm sure he'll see it, he's alwasy online, but I will not deliberately present it as food for thought, it is grossly disturbing.

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  13. If my girls were older I would not hesitate to show this video to them. I think gruesome as it seems it's effective and not nearly as scary as it would be to actually live through something like that.

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  14. While graphic, I don't think that it is too graphic to show to teens and young adults. A majority of fyoung drivers feel as if they are invincible and that nothing will ever happen to them or someone else because of them. If my children were driving age, I would not hesitate to show this to them. It might be uncomfortable now to show it, but just think of how uncomfortable it would be talking through a window at the county jail should they hurt someone because of texting while driving (or something else).

    Personally, I think it should be against the law to even talk on your cell phone while driving.

    And the video clip Carol was talking about is at http://ut.zerofatalities.com/

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  15. I say, go for it, and make them even more gruesome if you have to! I have two teens, both good kids, and very often logic just doesn't make it through their thick skulls. Scare them if you have to, let them see the reality!

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  16. I work in a high school - NO way is this too graphic! We have a live re-enactment every spring prior to prom season that includes local emergency staff. We bring in cars & stage a drunk driving accident w/ students in the cars. We even bring in a hearse from the local funeral home to take the "body" away. It has a HUGE impact on our students!!

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  17. While that video was indeed graphic, I agree with Lori that it is not too graphic when we are talking about the safety of our kids and of course other drivers. In NY State, legislature is working very hard to get a texting while driving ban passed. The stats that I have heard mentioned that is is as dangerous as drinking and driving. They have even been talking about sentencing prison time if convicted in a vehicular manslaughter situation. While that may seem extreme, I can understand the theory behind it. Very good Feedback Friday post. (As always) ;)

    XO*Tricia

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  18. I don't see anything wrong with it, people watch these types of things on TV and movie all the time.

    We have told our boys (the 2 oldest that are 11 & 12), just because you turn 16 doesn't mean you have the right to drive or date. It only means you are able to get a drivers license/ We have told them, if we do not see responsible actions in other areas of their lives they will not be given the opportunity to get their licenses until we see responsibility and we have told them if we do not see them treating girls with respect and honor they will not be aloud to date. The girl they take out is someone's daughter and sister, that loves her very much and they need to treat any girl they ask out like they would want their sister treated.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Cheri
    Just

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  19. Teens always have had a feeling of invincibility. Sometimes "show & tell" videos, re-enactments, etc make a difference to them. I still believe that they will continue to do what they already are doing!

    I'd like to see laws in place prohibiting cell phone use and texting while driving, with very high fines imposed for both violations. Many states have laws in place banning these two things, but law enforcement officials cannot always automatically pull someone over for violation usage.

    Often the law is tied to a secondary violation- in othr words, the person being stopped must have committed another violation- otherwise known as the primary violation. State legislation must be written correctly. Do we all know our incividual state's resolutions? Ohio wants to enact a secondary usage violation- I am petitioning against this.

    ok, sorry for the long post- it is a very important issue w/me!

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  20. My boys aren't yet driving but I think this is just the type of video that I would want them to see. I think teenagers have a mind set 'it can't happen to me.' Sometimes kids need to be shocked into making better decisions. This video could certainly do it.

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  21. I feel horrible. I am guilty of texting while driving. But seeing that poor little girl asking why aren't Mommy and Daddy waking up, I don't know. Now I will never do that again. There is no way I would want my kids to go through that. I am an adult, I should know better than to text and drive.

    I don't think this is too graphic. I believe kids need to know things and not have it sugar-coated. Children in the past were exposed to so many things, death, disease, that our (in general) children wouldn't have been able to deal in that kind of climate. I say show it to all teens.

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  22. Can you come over and see if you have any suggestions. I am having problems with my follower section and I need advice.
    Thanks Cheri
    Its So Very Cheri

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  23. Unfortunately, I think if they did make a video like that for the States, they would calm it down. And that would probably defeat the purpose. It's showing what would really happen. It's honest and truthful. Calming the "gore" down would be like giving someone a purple tulip bulb, telling them to plant it and that next spring, an apple tree will grow. "Well, we don't want to scare them." Hello? That's the point. We were freaked out enough by those gooey smoker's lungs and the guy with the electronic voice. I'll show my kids when they get old enough.

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  24. Alright, a little background before I begin, I'm only 19, and I never text while I drive, family rule. They do this program for high schools and the local authorities here in San Diego about drunk driving, very similar to this and you get to watch the whole car accident scene being acted out with people from your school. Which might be why when I watched this, I really honestly started crying. It hit me so hard, because it IS so realistic and graphic.
    I think this is EXACTLY what teenagers need.

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  25. Katie Anne,

    Great comment! It’s always great to hear from teens on how effective safe driving programs and videos are. A big high five on your no-texting while driving family rule. I work for AAA of Southern California and we are a big advocate for safe teen driving. Feel free to check out our Facebook page AAA Teen Driving.

    I have a 12 year old brother who is already talking about getting behind the wheel. I’m sure my parents and I will be referring to videos and programs to make sure he’s a safe driver.

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  26. wooow! my heart is pounding after watching that! I have three teen daughters, one who has just completed her 100 hours supervised driving and is about to go for her licence and the other who has just stated her 100 hours (Australian law). I will definately show both of them when we can sit and talk about it - not at night time though as it will give them nightmares. I will show the younest (14) in another couple of years.
    i had an accident at 19, it was just like this one - head on slightly off centre, spin and then t-boned. my friend in the passenger seat was killed. 22 years later I am still deeply affected by it and i hadn't been doing anything wrong or silly - inexperienced driver in a bad situation. result: three cars totalled, one life lost, six other lives never the same.
    Movies gloss over the real stuff and never really show the consequences of actions - (that would kill the mood). you see people get injured or killed and a bit of red, but never what they go through. it makes it all so unreal, so distant in a way and yet desensitises us to violence.
    this clip shows the real stuff of those first minutes/hours and it is all too real.

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