DOT Recruits FOX's Glee for Fight Against Distracted Driving

December 31, 1969

For close to five years now, officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have been fighting distracted driving -- a habit that is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents throughout the country.

Text messages and phone calls put everyone on our roadway at risk, including other drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
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Well, the DOT has made another giant step in the effort to spread the message about these dangerous driving habits. They've recently teamed up with the FOX TV show Glee. Recently, Glee's storyline included the problems that are associated with distracted driving. One of the show's leading characters, Quinn Fabray, was seriously injured in a distracted driving car accident. The accident was caused by text messaging while driving.

Our Costa Mesa injury lawyers understand that drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from talking on a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel in the state of California. All drivers are banned from text messaging behind the wheel too, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Even with these laws in place, drivers aren't listening. Parents: It's important for you to talk with the young driver in your family about the risks of text messaging while driving. It's a deadly combo!

Footage from a recent episode is even being used in a new public service announcement (PSA). This particular PSA is going to be used to target the dangerous and distracted driving habits of younger drivers. The message of the announcement is "Text Messaging and Driving Just Don't Mix." The PSA has been titled "On My Way" and will illustrate a driver reading a text message behind the wheel. Each time you ready a text message while driving, you stop looking at the road for an average of 5 seconds. During that time, you can travel the entire length of a football field and never even see where you're going.

"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, executive producer and co-creator of Glee.

The new PSA is all a part of the national campaign "Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks." This is a nationwide campaign put on by state Attorneys Generals, Fox Home Entertainment, the Ad Council and state consumer protection agencies.

Safe driving advocates are focusing so much attention on this issue because drivers are nearly 25 times more likely to get into an accident while texting than a driver who isn't. Distracted driving car accidents continue to be one of the top causes for fatal car accidents nationwide,.

To help to fight the fight, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are putting up close to $18 million.

When it all boils down, the few seconds it takes to read/write a text message isn't worth your life of the life of others. Keep your phone out of the driver's seat and work to keep our roadways even safer!

About 20 percent of all reported car accidents reported in 2009 involved a distracted driver. Officials believe the number is actually much higher as they believe that many drivers never report the distraction. Like a breathalyzer, there's no test to be administered to tell whether or not a driver was distracted during the time of an accident. Be safe and be responsible out there and stay focused!

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash, contact HOWARD LAW PC for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-872-5925 today!

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