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Car accident, safety focus: Massive teen-driver campaign underway

“Today’s teenagers make no secret about the fact that they want to stay connected to their social networks and enjoy text messaging,” notes David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

With that acknowledgement in mind, NHTSA and Department of Transportation (DOT) officials make no secret that they are widely targeting teen drivers as the primary audience of an ongoing public service announcement focused on reducing car accidents that stresses the perils of texting while driving.

“Teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to distracted driving,” says DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

They are indeed, with statistics readily available from Ohio traffic regulators and their peers across the country to confirm that. Relevant data indicate that young drivers are particularly prone to being involved in accidents primarily because they were texting, talking on cell phones or otherwise distracted.

DOT and NHTSA officials kicked off their recent educational campaign — titled “OMG” to more immediately appeal to the intended youthful audience — by widely announcing it earlier this week and encouraging interested parties to view the new safety ads on the DOT’s website.

The announcement will air through December in different versions at movie theaters and gas stations across the country. Specifically, more than 6,500 movie screens at Regal Cinemas will air the ads before movies, and more than 12,000 screens that sit on top of gas pumps will also run them.

Safety officials hope they are widely seen and reflected upon by millions of teen drivers during that period.

Source: NHTSA, “U.S. Department of Transportation unveils ‘OMG’ PSA to warn teens about the dangers of distracted driving” Nov. 28, 2011