A new public service advertisement featuring NASCAR driver and Northwest native Kasey Kahne was revealed today to coincide with the first nationwide Stop the Texts Day, and the start of National Youth Traffic Safety Month, according to a press release issued by the office of Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.
The campaign is a cooperation between the National Association of Attorneys General, led by McKenna, and a national coalition including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council.
Sixty percent of young adult drivers (16-24) said they have texted while driving, according to a national survey released today by the Ad Council.
NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.
"I am glad that I was able to be a part of this project. The Ad Council folks do a good job of bringing awareness to causes such as this. Hopefully this will help people realize how dangerous texting while driving can be," said Kahne, NASCAR’s 2004 Rookie of the Year.
“While teen drivers often feel invincible, the reality is that texting and driving too often leads to terrible injuries and even death,” said McKenna, “No text message is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Texting while driving should be at least as socially unacceptable as driving without a seat belt.”
The Ad Council’s national survey found that 44 percent of young adult drivers (16 – 24) say that friends are the most influential source to encourage them to curb their texting and driving habits, followed by their parents (33 percent). The campaign also created a complete toolkit to provide additional ways the public can participate.
For more information, visit stoptextsstopwrecks.org, a website where teens and young adults can find facts about the impact of texting while driving and tips for how to curb the behavior. The campaign is also on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
View the Kasey Kahne PSA.