A survey by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found 94 percent of drivers consider texting while driving to be “a serious threat” and 87 percent would be in favor of banning texting while driving. In addition, 70 percent admitted to driving while talking on their cell phones and more than 30 percent admitted to checking texts or emails while driving. The Society of Automotive Engineers estimates that there are 950,000 accidents every year as a result of distracted driving.
In an attempt to lessen the amount of car accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Ad Council have partnered up with the Fox television show, Glee, to help raise public awareness, especially for young drivers, to hit the brakes on texting and driving.
"Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are often the most at risk," said Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation "Young people across the country watch 'Glee,' and we're thrilled to partner with the show to spread the word that texting and driving don't mix. I thank the Ad Council, Ryan Murphy, and the cast of 'Glee' for their continued efforts to raise awareness about this issue."
The partnership produced two public service announcements that feature Quinn Fabray, a character on Glee, driving and attempting to read a text. Just before she finishes she is involved in a severe accident. The footage is from an actual episode of Glee.
"This was a story we wanted to tell because we know the influence our show can have in starting conversations and raising awareness," said Ryan Murphy, Glee executive producer and co-creator . "We were inspired by Oprah Winfrey's campaign encouraging everyone to sign a pledge not to text and drive, which we all signed when we did her show a few years ago, and we had been looking for an opportunity to tell the story of how a few seconds of carelessness could have a devastating impact on people's lives."
New car companies and cell phone manufacturers are all clamoring not to text while driving. Luckily, along with public awareness efforts, new technologies have been developed to keep drivers' eyes focused on the road. Voice recognition technology is offered in some cars and Apple is currently working with numerous auto dealers to implement Siri, their voice recognition technology in their phones and tablets, in various new cars.