WASHINGTON, DC – Today the National Safety Council (NSC) and CTIA-The Wireless Association® announced a joint education campaign – focused on teens – to explain the dangers of distracted driving and to tell them when they’re “On the Road, Off the Phone.” This campaign includes a television public service announcement (PSA) and Web site (www.onroadoffphone.org) with information for parents and teens to learn more about distracted driving.
With more than 270 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. using 2.2 trillion minutes in 2008, mobile devices are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. As teens and novice drivers learn the complex task of driving a motor vehicle, they are the most likely group to be involved in vehicle crashes as the result of driver distraction. While texting is easy, fast and an increasingly popular form of communications with an astounding 110.4 billion sent and received each month last year, it’s also incompatible with safe driving – and is a habit that more Americans – especially teens – seem to be developing. In fact, AAA conducted a study in 2007 and found 46% of teens admit to texting and driving.
"We are pleased to partner with the CTIA to address the critical issue of distracted driving," said Janet Froetscher, President & CEO of the National Safety Council. "Distracted driving is an issue for everyone, but teens are the highest risk group and texting is a very high-risk behavior. We are hopeful that our communications and PSAs will awaken teens to the risks and help parents communicate effectively with their teens to set and enforce rules that keep teens from engaging in this very dangerous activity.”
The announcement of the campaign is in advance of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood’s Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC on September 30th – October 1st, where experts and influentials from various industries – including NSC and CTIA – will discuss distracted driving, how education is vital to changing behavior and will share efforts to educate consumers about the potential risks. More than 200 safety experts, researchers, policymakers, public interest groups and wireless industry leaders are expected to attend.
“On behalf of the wireless industry, we are pleased to be continuing our relationship with the National Safety Council and working with them to educate parents and teens about the dangers of distracted driving. We believe that education is key to changing behavior and we remind teens and novice drivers – ‘On the Road, Off the Phone’,” said Steve Largent, President & CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.
This is the first joint PSA released by the two organizations that focuses on teens and novice drivers.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.