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This March, Houston, Texas, mourned the loss of three teen girls whose lives were cut short by a tragic car crash that could have been avoided. Jade Robinson, 17, Brianna Robinson, 19, and Brittanie Johnson, 18, were returning from a spring break trip to Padre Island when their friend and driver used her cell phone’s GPS feature. The driver swerved, over-corrected and collided head-on with an 18-wheeler, killing her three passengers.
Jade was the captain of her school’s volleyball team and recently received a full scholarship to Tennessee Wesleyan in the fall. It was just the latest fatal car crash in the Houston area that involved distracted driving, most often caused by motorists texting while driving.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which makes this the perfect time to re-up some important advice about safe driving. When you work as a car accident attorney, it can be tempting to become numb to the carnage and tragedy of fatal car accidents, but it is important not to lose sight of the human cost of reckless driving. The young woman who survived the March accident will have to live with the consequences of that day for the rest of her life.
Take the time to watch these important Public Service Announcements about safe driving, and keep them in mind the next time you get behind the wheel.
As devices take up more of our attention every day, it is becoming harder and harder to put the phone away whenever you turn on the car. Yet, distracted drivers using GPS and texting have already killed thousands of people, and the problem is only getting worse. Unlike most driving PSAs, the Take Back Your Drive campaign doesn’t rely on fear tactics. Instead, it appeals to burned out Americans with device fatigue, urging drivers to enjoy some quiet time to themselves on their commute home.
According to the National Safety Council, “There is no safe way to use a cell phone while driving—even hands free. Distracted driving takes many forms, but cell phone use is at the top. Research shows the brain remains distracted for 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but often you don’t realize that distracted driver is you.”
This classic driving safety PSA was part of an anti-marijuana advertising campaign in 2010, but it is more relevant than ever now that states like Colorado are legalizing recreational marijuana. Many marijuana users believe that being high actually makes them a better, more cautious driver. Of course, all available evidence suggests that the exact opposite is likely true, and driving under the influence of marijuana can be just as deadly—and illegal—as drunk driving.
Anyone who grew up in the 80s or 90s remember watching cheesy, melodramatic anti-drug PSAs and afterschool specials. These programs were part of the tough-on-crime, ‘Just Say No’ era of the War on Drugs that has mostly been recognized as an abject failure on every level. Today, anti-drug and safe driving PSAs are much more likely to appeal to humor than fear tactics. Case in point, these new “Drive High, Get a DUI” ads from Colorado.
The Rocky Mountain State recently legalized recreational marijuana, and the commercials are part of an effort to discourage driving while under the influence of marijuana. These ads might also be the first pro-drug PSAs in the history of American television.
Vince and Larry, the Crash Test Dummies, helped teach an entire generation of Americans to buckle up—or else. According to the Ad Council, “Since Vince & Larry, the Crash Test Dummies, were introduced to the American public in 1985, seat belt usage has increased from 14% to 83%. From 1985 to 2007, an estimated 234,000 lives were saved through seat belt use.”
Honorable Mention: Someone is Waiting for You…
Finally, Budweiser has released a number of famous anti-drunk driving PSAs featuring adorable puppies, supported with the hashtag #FriendsAreWaiting. While the ads have an effectively simple message—drunk driving hurts those you leave behind—it loses points for effectively doubling as a beer commercial, a classic case of mixed messaging.
If you have been injured due to unsafe driving of another individual, you should seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. today.