You may have already seen the “Death by Cell Phone” billboards along the highways near you. They feature the pictures of a 61 year-old woman and a 12 year-old boy both of whom were victims of auto accidents caused by drivers using cell phones. The billboards are a continuation the efforts by the National Safety Council’s (NSC) to reduce the number of cellphone-related car crashes.
The message on the billboard is focused on having the viewers watch on-line videos of the surviving relatives. The survivors tell the stories of their loved ones and the circumstances of the car crashes that took they lives.
The ad campaign was sponsored by Nationwide Insurance Co. and Lamar Advertising who donated the billboard space. It is featured in 67 markets nationwide and has the potential to be seen by over million drivers every day. The NSC is counting on this wide exposure to educate drivers on the dangers of inattentive driving and particularly in talking on cell phones and texting while driving.
“Driver inattention is a leading cause of traffic crashes, responsible for about 80 percent of all collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Considering crashes are the number-one cause of accidental death in the U.S., it is important to pay close attention to our driving habits and those of other drivers.”
The National Safety Council is on a mission to:
- Alert the American public that different kinds of distractions have different levels of crash risk. Talking on a cell phone and sending text messages are much higher risk activities that occur for longer durations and with more people than most other actions engaged in while driving.
- Lead a change in our nation’s cultural norms, so people come to view cell phone conversations and text messaging while driving as unsafe and socially unacceptable. Calling for a legislative ban on these activities is the first step in a long-term process to educate Americans to their risk and change the culture.