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Should This Video be Used to Stop Teens From Driving While Texting? Readers Respond!


Last week we showed you a very graphic public service film from the United Kingdom, which depicts the tragedies that can occur when teens text while driving. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can view it above now -- but be warned it contains content not suitable for young children.

A longer version of the film will be shown at UK schools this year; no doubt a poignant message that will stick in teens’ minds, perhaps forever.

We asked readers to share their thoughts about the video … specifically, “Do you think this public service video will keep teens from texting while driving … or has it gone too far?”

Overwhelmingly, most all of you agreed that the video may be just what teens need … a wake-up call of sorts and a reminder of how serious accidents can and do occur on the road.

Thank you once again to all who contributed … and here is what you had to say:

“Very graphic but a stark reminder of just how dangerous it is to use your mobile when driving. I think at times we are all guilty of complacency and forgetting these dangers. Not too graphic if the message is received loud and clear and lives are saved.”

“I think this is an excellent piece of work. But why directed at teenagers only? I appreciate your research shows they may be at higher risk of texting. But it should be on mainstream tv every night for a week at 9pm and targeted at all drivers. I have personally witnessed lorry drivers and older age group on the phone or texting while driving.

Perhaps this film should have finished with a piece about how many cars involved, people and what the outcome was i.e. 3 cars, 8 people and if any fatalities/list of injuries. Also courts should be much tougher and laws changed to demonstrate if you cause a death by careless/bad driving then manslaughter and prison sentence.”
--Heather Muldoon, Glasgow, Scotland

“I feel that even though it is very graphic, it is something that all need to see, not just teens. They are not the only ones out there texting. Life is not always pretty and this is getting the point across. It has not gone too far, at least not to me...”

“It can happen if they are texting or doing anything else while driving. Why hide them from what could happen if they continue to text while driving?”

“I think that the video is a strong preventative to NO texting while driving. I know I have done it before and I NEVER will again. Teachers etc should be sensitive of their audience in case anyone has been in accident or family have could find it very disturbing.”

“I think this film was just what teens, (and adults) need. Let some reality slap them in the face. If anything, I do not think it was graphic enough, not even close. People these days need to understand that when you drive, you should focus all your attention on the task at hand. Just talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, but texting is insane! So many accidents have already happened here in Alaska from that very scenario.

I have explained to my teenage daughter, (who will be getting a permit to drive in 4 months), that she is not allowed to talk or text on her phone while she is driving. If she needs to talk or send a text, she can pull over to a safe area and take care of her business before she resumes driving. If she disobeys these rules, (and I will check phone records and compare them to the times she has been behind the wheel, do some investigative work to find out if she pulled over or not...whatever it takes to keep her and others safe), I will not allow her to drive, or continue to have her cell phone until she moves out of this house and is legally able to obtain a license and phone on her own.

If this seems a bit harsh to some people, then I suggest you open your eyes and enforce the same rules to your family or you may end up on the wrong end of a very ugly nightmare.”
--Melanie, Alaska, USA

“I would hope this video will help discourage anyone from texting or talking on the cell phone while driving.”

“It goes way too far.”

“This is a very accurate portrayal of real consequences of careless driving. I would much rather have my children learn by watching this film than by experiencing this tragedy themselves.”

“Maybe...we can only hope!”

“Excellent & so real & well done for the negative impact of texting while driving! Not appropriate for teens...really...are you kidding?? games...internet come on they are exposed to all kinds of horror on a daily bases. It should be shown in all schools. Maybe a child can correct their parent doing the same stupid thing as texting while driving. How about the ladies out there putting on their make up while driving.!?! Crazy stuff that injures & kills other innocent responsible drivers!!!”
--Marie, Fort Worth, Texas

“CORRECTION: This material IS suitable for younger children. Teach them BEFORE they start driving, not to be using cell phones as the driver, in a moving vehicle. That way they are able to protest when they see their elders doing it, ie: parents, siblings, etc. . . .just like the effect they had on smokers . . . The laws should be so strict, and, severely enforced. ie: charged with murder, etc. Under 18, their parents should be held accountable too. If you are a driver, you need NO distractions when you are guiding your missile/car on public streets & highways. You have MADD for alcohol abuse. THIS should be treated on the same level ! PEOPLE SHOULD, AND NEED TO BE SCARED STRAIGHT! The fines should be $500 and up. If this is not made illegal nationwide, the death toll will be always on the rise.”
--Dan Baran, Los Angeles, CA

“I say whatever works! TV shows much worse things!”

“I think this is excellent, you should have shown bodybags getting zipped up to really impress that texting can kill, that is something they may have to live with if they get the chance. The USA should be leading the way with this video, texting and driving is everywhere.”
--Tonya Edinger, Renfrew, PA USA

“I pray it does.”

“It will stop some, which is better than none. I think this video should be watched by everyone who drives!!!”

“I think this is an excellent video. Sometimes it takes seeing the reality to make a lasting impression. Better to have them see it on video than live it. In my opinion, cell phone use while driving should be illegal.”
--Tami, Westerville, OH

“I hope it would make a teen think twice. It was very well done.”

“I hope it helps and it has not gone too far!”

“No, it has not gone too far if it will save lives.”

“This is good. It sometimes takes something like this to shake a person up.”

“That was good, needs to be in America.”

“Did it go too far? Absolutely NOT! Not just for teens. This should be for anyone behind the wheel.”

“It will keep some from texting, and lives will be saved. It does not go too far. Teens need to be exposed to reality.”

“Very often we are too afraid of shocking the fragile youth -- I think they need a good shake up!!!! No this video did not go too far.”

“I think it will make them think before they do, some will stop others won’t. Great film.”

“I have been almost hit by a driver who was just talking on their cell phone and ran a red light. Seeing a video about a car wreck is a lot better than actually causing one or being a victim of a talking/texting while driving person.”

“I hope that it will give teens and adults pause to think about their behavior when behind the wheel. I will be showing this video to the younger members of my family. I do not think it has gone too far.”

“I completely understand the meaning behind it but I do think it has gone too far. That should come with an R rating. Too much shown for me that I lost the point that she was texting while in the car, I just wanted the rescue to happen.”
--Dana, Atlantic City New JerseyUSA

“People pay to go see graphic garbage like Saw 1,2 3,4,5,6...for entertainment! This is not too graphic when you uphold to the cultural norm (sadly). I would show this to my teenager,definitely.”

“A good lesson.”

“It’s gone too far.”

“It definitely has not gone too far, teens need to see a realistic representation of what can happen under these circumstances! It is very well done, very realistic, and hopefully will stick in the mind of some teen, possibly saving his or her life... or the life of some other innocent person!”
--Larry, Ft. Myers, FL

“Being in the health care field, this is an EXCELLENT video, very realistic, therefore it is not going too far, because this is actually what the kids face if they get in an accident. Hopefully it will affect the kids that see it.”

“It does a VERY good job of depicting the reality of a fatal car crash which texting is known to cause. Like the "pre prom" videos regarding drinking and driving that I remember from highschool, this is very graphic and needs to be seen by those that text while driving.”

“ will keep teens from texting.”

“Very, very good. It might make their eyes open a bit and make them think that keeping your eyes on the road is more important than not.....if you are going to be so taken with texting, keep off the road and stay home! Thank you. Wish this could have been made a while ago, but good going! Thanks.”

“No, maybe this will open some eyes to the dangers of texting while driving.”

“I would think it would. But they have short memories and probably need to see this kind of thing more than once. Have the drinking while driving videos had any success?”

“It is EXACTLY what is needed!”

“Wow this was very moving. also very scary. But sometimes i think we need to be a bit scared at times. This really does happen. And it needs to stop. I love this. The best PSA yet.”

“I think it will reach a certain segment of the teen population. I do not think it will reach all of them. However, it is worth showing over and over again. It does NOT go too far. Nothing can go too far when dealing with the teenage years. I would like to see the full 30 minutes.”

“Absolutely not! Teens need to be shocked into the reality of not paying attention while driving. This is real life. Go for it!”

“It will scare them out of driving period! There should be a law (or at least parents should enforce it) that no cell phones are allowed in cars. Keep one in the glove compartment for emergencies only! It made me vomit to see this.”

“Very effective for some. Some will ignore.”

“Thank goodness someone had the courage to make this film. We were shown a very graphic film in Junior High in the 1950s about smoking that was really a turnoff about smoking.”

“Every day as I drive around I see people texting while driving. They keep looking up and down and driving in the fast lane while driving slower than the rest of the traffic. I think that it is going to have to get more graphic before they get it, and unfortunately more kids will have to die before the gravity of it sinks in. Maybe every time someone gets ticket they should have to see a video of the crashes that were caused by someone texting and then go see what the cars look like after the fact and then maybe have to go out to the schools and give a talk about what they saw.”

“There is no such thing as going too far when we speak of saving lives. Teens are noted for having short attention spans so need this kind of shock therapy.”
--Bud Stuart DVM, Santa Barbara, CA

“I do not think it has gone too far. They need to have adults watch it as well. This is serious and they are putting everyone else in danger, just not themselves.”

“It has just made ME stop texting and driving. Granted the girl driving was REALLY focused on her phone and not the road. I have been the opposite. Focused more on the road than my phone. HOWEVER it points out that one tiny little mistake can claim the lives of your friends with you as well as other motorists. It REALLY gets the point that it is not JUST a little crash or something. It can mean life and death. I think it is VERY well put together and I think kids AND adults need to see the reality of it all. They go to horror films by choice to see gory stuff. Why should this be "watered down" when it could VERY well be their own lives at stake. I give it my approval as a 28-year-old youth pastor. I would LOVE to have my kids see this.”

“Unfortunately, I do not think it has gone too far.”

“No distance is too far!”

“I think they should show this in commercials for PG-13 and higher rated movies or TV programs. It should get the point across without harming the little ones. If they are old enough to watch that type of television, they can watch this.”

“I think it may open their eyes to the possibility. In my high school we saw a video of what happens when you drive while drinking. It scared my so bad I have never been behind the wheel while drunk. They should show graphic pictures of accidents from texting.”

“What an ignorant question! Do you think texting when driving has gone too far? If you do not pay 100% attention to your driving then you should have your license removed for life before you take another life!”
--Erik, San Diego

“For some teens it didn’t go far enough..funerals, funeral bills, picking out clothes for the newly deceased, picking out and paying for a small casket to put a little child or baby in...the list goes on and the pains only get hidden.”
--Anonymous, Camden,nj

“I believe using a cell phone in any way while driving should be illegal! This film is a great idea but will not stop idiots from driving and texting or talking on the phone.”

“Everyone should see this, perhaps it would stop some to text and drive.”

“Very powerful message. It has not gone too far. Teens, especially, need to see and feel the possible consequences of texting while driving.”

“Had forward this to parents several days ago and got a positive response that they were going to show it to their children as they thought is was very important for them to see what could happen. They said graphic, but it really drove the point home.”

“It should be shown to all who are applying for their drivers license. It is a sobering film.”

“No way does this go too far. It’s time today teens see what will happen in the real world. Maybe this will save a lot of lives!”

“I think this clip was very explicit and very well done. It is often very difficult to make teens aware that bad things can happen to them but it serves as a reminder to all of us how one second of inattention behind the wheel can create a disaster and affect so many people. So pay attention everyone! Realize your responsibility to be a defensive driver at all times.”
--Sheila, 55, New Brunswick, Canada

“No, I think it’s graphic and will get teens’ attention. That’s what’s needed today. Good shock and awe for these kids. It’s not only teens that are texting while driving … Let’s get this message out to all drivers. Using a cell phone should be outlawed in every state!”

“Fear tactics only frustrate me and turn me off! I relate better to being given information.”

“I think teens need to see this, I was almost sideswiped twice by someone who was texting. Texting should be outlawed while driving for young and old.”

“No, I am amazed that it took this long to do something like this and that people would be upset by it.”

“Yes, this should work! If it were softened up a bit, it would not be as effective. This should be aired on television.”

“NO, I think for the most part young people will continue to text and talk on their phones because at their age they think they are bullet-proof...that nothing is going to happen to "them!" This video is WELL DONE and unless I was told otherwise, I would have said it was a real accident. They should have pronounced several of the people dead at the scene to add to what anyone that does this and drives should consider.”

“One would hope. As an insurance agent, I would like all my clients’ children to see this. It can happen to them, and it has happened to others.”

“No it does not. The kids watch movies for enjoyment worse than that.”

“I think it is perfect. Real, to the point and boy does it ever point to how fast wrecks happen and the carnage that can result. The only thing missing is what happened to all the persons involved.”

“There is nothing better than reality to convey reality!”

“It certainly has not gone too far. Everyone, not just teenagers should be MADE to watch this. It is not just the teenagers who drive and text at the same time. It is a must see for everyone, perhaps it needs to go out to schools also?”
--Gina Butler U.K.

Recommended Reading 

Warning: This Video Can Stop Teens From Texting While Driving … But Does it Go Too Far?

Driving While Texting: How Dangerous is it … and is it Illegal?

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