April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the US Department of Transportation is observing the message with its first-ever ad campaign, a shocking video public service announcement that shows the graphic repercussions of taking your eyes off the road for even a second while behind the wheel.
The ad airs on TV through April 15 alongside a police crackdown on phone use while driving in those states that have distracted driving laws. A first-time ticket for texting in California is around $160. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 injured in crashes related to distracted driving in 2012. Hence the push to make this an issue at the top drivers' minds, especially teens and 20-somethings who are involved in the most distracted driving incidents.
The distracted driving awareness effort made headlines last year with the Werner Herzog documentary From One Second to the Next, which was part of AT&T's It Can Wait campaign. The 35-minute film focuses on the real people injured or killed because of someone glancing at their phone. According to a company spokesperson, AT&T's goal with the film, which can be seen below, was "get to the point where texting and driving is as unacceptable as drinking and driving."