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Last month Volkswagen ran a shocking Public Service Announcement in a cinema in Hong Kong.
It went like this: Cinema goers watched a first person view of someone driving a car down a long road. Not too long after the “drive” started, people in the theater received a text message. When those with mobiles looked down to see the message, the car in the movie crashed into a tree.
After a moment to let the situation sink in, the screen went to a message saying “Mobile use is now the leading cause of death behind the wheel. A reminder to keep your eyes on the road.”
While PSAs educating people about the risks of mobile use and driving are common, Volkswagen appears to be the first to actually incorporate live texting (reportedly using location based services at the cinema). If you watch the video, you’ll see the people genuinely seem to be shocked, arguably more so than if they simply watched a movie of someone crash while reading a text message.
Despite efforts to raise awareness and the penalties associated with distracted driving, many continue to use their mobiles in the car. A recent study by RAC Foundation showed a high percentage of people in the UK are not aware of the laws surrounding distracted driving and mobile use in particular.
For instance, 61% of people claimed they were unaware that texting in a stationary car while the engine is running is illegal (like waiting in traffic). The study also found one in eight believe that texting while driving is legal. It makes me wonder if these people are blissfully ignorant or just pretending to be so. Here in the UK there are very specific laws regarding distracted driving that anyone who gets behind the wheel should know. For a quick overview and to test your knowledge of the law, visit gov.uk.
As a text message service provider we encourage everyone to follow the law and stay safe. No text is worth risking anyone’s life.