Back in 2009, a Missouri law was enacted to stop drivers who are 21-years-old and younger from texting behind the wheel to help prevent distraction-related car accidents in Kennett, Sikeston, Perryville and elsewhere. Still, there are too many young drivers texting behind the wheel, making the roadways dangerous for everyone. The U.S. Department of Transportation is now stepping in with its "OMG" public service announcement (PSA) campaign to stop the irresponsible and dangerous habit nationwide.
"Young people will be forced to at least keep their fingers off their keyboards while they drive," said Leanna Depue, director of Highway Safety for the Missouri Department of Transportation. "The law is a small step toward counteracting some of the distracted driving that causes crashes in Missouri."
Our Kennett car accident attorneys understand that teenage drivers face higher risks for accidents than any other age group of drivers. These risks are increased by nearly 25 percent when young drivers text at the wheel. To help raise awareness about the risks, dangers and consequences of texting while driving, the USDOT will be airing its "OMG" campaign PSAs at Regal Cinema theaters, gas station pump-top screens and on Distraction.gov through the entire month of December. Officials expect these mediums to reach a majority of young drivers on our roadways, helping to make our roadways safer through the busy holiday travel season.
"Today's teenagers make no secret about the fact that they want to stay connected to their social networks and enjoy text messaging. That's why it's so important that we educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and help them make smart decisions that will keep them safe during the holiday season and beyond," said National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's David Strickland.
With the holidays approaching, teenagers will have winter break and time away from school. During this time, many will venture out on our roadways to visit with friends and family members. The increase in traffic during the holidays already puts them at a greater risk for an accident. Their risks increase even more when they're playing with cell phones and text messaging devices behind the wheel.
The "OMG" PSAs will be aired at more than 525 Regal Cinema Theaters and at roughly 12,000 screens located on top of gas pumps at filling stations across the U.S. Officials believe that in the theater and at the pump is the perfect time to grab the attention of these young, on-the-go teens. The PSAs included popular text lingo, such as "LOL" and "L8R" to effective communicate with this texting generation.
Currently, 35 states, Guam and the District of Columbia prohibit all drivers from text messaging. Only nine states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones. Parents are urged to talk to their teen drivers about the importance of focusing on the roadway--and nothing else--when driving along our roadways, especially through the busy holiday traffic.
If you or your teen driver has been involved in a distracted-driving car accident in Dexter, New Madrid, Perryville or elsewhere in Southeast Missouri, contact the New Madrid Personal Injury Lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates PC for a free initial consultation. Call (573) 334-7959.
More Blog Entries:
Holiday Season Contributes to Record Numbers of Car Accidents in Kennett and Elsewhere, Southeast Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
NHTSA Pushes Campaign to Reduce Risks of Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Sikeston and Elsewhere, Southeast Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 21, 2011Attorney meetings by appointment only