There's been quite a lot of media coverage on the high risk of texting while driving and several states are lining up to issue bans or restrictions on the practice. We recently featured a texting while driving game that let's you get a rough gauge of how you'd fare while texting at the wheel. But this simulator really soft pedals things in comparison to the approach that some countries are taking in getting the message out. Nothing that we've seen or read here in the U.S. has the raw, visceral power that a recent British public service announcement aimed at teens.
Before watching, please be warned that this video is very graphic.
There's no disputing the danger that texting while driving poses - the studies are adding up. One of the more recent is a study by the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute, which found that texting truck drivers were 23 times more at risk of a crash or near crash event than nondistracted drivers. But there has been some debate about the effectiveness of shock advertising as an awareness and prevention tactic - some see them as highly effective, while other think that viewers tend to tune them out. This is an issue that came up about two years ago when Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board released a series of graphic public service announcements designed to highlight worker safety.
As for the subject of this ad - currently, 18 states ban texting for all drivers. The Governors' Highway Safety Association maintains and updates a handy chart of state cell phone and texting laws - check back often, as this is an issue on several state legislative dockets.