Graphic public service announcement shows dangers of texting while driving - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

INSIDE: Watch PSA (Warning: graphic video)

Graphic public service announcement shows dangers of texting while driving

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VIDEO: You can watch both the MSNBC report on the PSA and the PSA itself by scrolling down to below the comments section of this story.


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.

Each year, more than 5,000 teens (ages 16-20) are killed in passenger vehicle crashes.

During 2006, a teen died in a traffic crash an average of once every hour on weekends and nearly once every two hours during the week.
- NHTSA

WASHINGTON. - It's the start of the school year and a lot of teens are getting behind the wheel.

Just in time for the new school year, a powerful new video out of England showing the dangers of texting while driving is quickly becoming an Internet sensation. 

A warning - the video is graphic - but it does make an impression.

The video is from the Gwent Police Department in Britain and is a haunting video - a dramatization - aimed at a specific audience: teens. A driver named "Cassie" survives a collision, but the accident she caused because of 'texting' kills four people.
 
Texting while driving is a global problem crossing every age group.
 
In the United States, 25 people died and more than 100 were injured after a Los Angeles train engineer ran a signal, seconds after texting.
 
In San Antonio, a texting bus driver failed to notice traffic had stopped and collision followed.
 
The government doesn't yet track the number of auto accidents involving texting or e-mailing, but a recent Virginia Tech study found the risk of collision jumps 23 times while texting.

"I think it was very graphic and very frightening, but unfortunately we see it with 40,000 fatalities every year," said National transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersman. "Those are people that don't come home."
 
Currently, 17 states and Washington D.C. now ban texting while driving and seven states ban handheld cell phones. 
 

Related Information

Cell phone use while driving more dangerous than previously thought
Newly released government documents reveal cell phone use while driving is more dangerous than you were told. Margaret Kwoka, attorney for the group Public Citizen, said, "Whether you're doing that on hands-free device or on a hand held cell phone the distraction of the conversation causes the increased likelihood of a car crash." >>More
In September, the Transportation Department will hold a summit to deal with all forms of distracted drivers.

"We all know that texting while driving is dangerous and I promise we're going to do something about it," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
 
Meanwhile, American parents are now turning to a public service announcement in Britain to make an impression on American teens.

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