German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen screened the PSA, called “Eyes on the Road,” in a theater full of moviegoers in Hong Kong.
The video offered a point-of-view shot of a solitary driver on a long straight road chilling out to the music on the radio. Suddenly, everyone got a text from a location-based broadcaster and as they took a moment to check their phones, the ad caught them off guard.
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People may argue that this is a set up. Some may say that people are more likely to check a text message while sitting in a movie theater while an uneventful ad is playing than while driving. However, this is barely the point here.
The ad is extremely effective in delivering its message across and has a certain shock value. Another takeaway from this might be that no matter how unchallenging the situation on the road may seem (no traffic, clear path), texting behind the wheel may still prove hazardous. If one somehow loses the control of the car, what then?
If you’re still somehow unsure, ask yourself a question. What would be more dangerous, drunk driving or texting while driving? Surely most would say drunk driving. In 2009, Car and Driver magazine conducted a test comparing driving while intoxicated and while reading an email or texting. The results were terrifying. It determined that texting is even more dangerous than drunk driving.
In 2012, the UK’s Department of Transportation announced that texting or driving behind the wheel caused 378 accidents that led to 17 recorded deaths and 548 injuries.
If this doesn’t change your mind, we don’t know what will.