The DOT is partnering with the FOX TV show Glee to help it warn young drivers about the dangers of texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
A few months ago, Glee featured a major storyline about the dangers of distracted driving. Quinn Fabray, one of the show's main characters played by Dianna Agron, was seriously injured in a car crash caused by texting while driving.
The DOT is using footage from that episode in a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) about distracted driving. The "On My Way" PSAs emphasize that just reading a text message behind the wheel can take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds – enough time to drive the length of a football field.
The hard-hitting footage shows Quinn, who's driving, focusing her attention on her cell phone in order to respond to a text - and getting hit broadside by another vehicle. The slogan which follows: Stop the texts. Stop the wrecks.
“This was a story we wanted to tell because we know the influence our show can have in starting conversations and raising awareness,” said Glee executive producer and co-creator Ryan Murphy. “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, and we’ve already heard from thousands of our fans about how this story touched them."
The PSAs--part of the national "Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks." campaign--are being released by DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in conjunction with the Ad Council, Fox Home Entertainment, state Attorneys General, and state consumer protection agencies.
Click here to view the :30 PSA.