“Texting can be deadly” video makes an impact

Driving is part of social responsibility.

With about 62 million registered vehicles in the U.S. (according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistical Records Office), there are a lot of people sitting behind the wheel of 2-ton (or heavier) hunk of metal moving at high speeds. Human error while driving can lead to disaster.

So it’s up to each and every one of us to pay attention, drive safely and assertively, and obey the laws of the road. Texting while driving, particularly because it is one of the most common and most avoidable causes of accidents, is one of the big hot button driving topics today.

And to add more attention the issue, police officers in England teamed up with Brynmawr filmmaker Peter Watkins- Hughes to make a video that would raise awareness. “A gruesome video on the Web, called ‘Texting Can Be Deadly,’ is getting lots of hits and creating some controversy” wrote Tony Bizjak. The reactions to this “public service announcement , sponsored by police in Gwent, England” brought the issue of texting while driving to the forefront of the international agenda.

The Heddlu Gwent Police hope “the film will become part of the core schools programme across Wales and ultimately the UK.” In the U.S., this video helped the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, decide to organize a Distracted Driving Summit today and tomorrow, and the main question of the summit will have to involve a ban of texting while driving.

I’ll be honest, this video is not embedded in this post yet because I really want to warn that it is graphic. On first attempt, I had to stop watching because I found it so disturbing. I have been in a really bad car crash and so the footage may be much more upsetting to me than to others. That being said, it is graphic, serious and effective. Please watch it for yourself:

This video is graphic. You have been warned.

What do you think about the intentions behind this video? Do you think this video is helpful or harmful? Do you think that it should be shown in schools? And what about the subject of texting while driving or a ban on it?

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2 Comments

  1. Since your tweet about how I feel about the ban brought me here I’ll keep my response to that.

    I actually support the ban. It is an individual freedom that has the potential of harming a lot of bystanders. Research has shown that it is actually as bad if not worse than drunk driving. In 2 of my classes we’re also currently learning about locus of attention and cognitive working memory, and it shows how limited a human’s capacity for dividing attention really is. As an example: Just switching from one activity to another, takes a full 2 to 3 seconds before one is capable of any meaningful action. Going 65 mph, that’s 2 to 3 seconds to late in case of an emergency.

    Considering the individual dangers of driving and overall costs of accidents to society, a ban on texting and driving makes sense. Ideally everybody would realize how dangerous it is and just not do it, thus a ban wouldn’t be needed, but unfortunately I don’t have that much faith in average Joe’s intelligence (and even intelligent people sometimes do it, despite knowing better – I’m guilty of that), thus a ban is needed.

    Also, if you really have a text that is so important to send that it can’t wait 10 or 15 minutes, you always have the option of pulling over. That way you won’t be putting anyone in danger and you can focus your full attention on writing that crucial text.

  2. […] public about the risks of distracted driving. If they don’t, there’s still the horrific video about the dangers of texting while driving that was done with the help of police in Gwent, England. […]


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