Stories Like These Will Decrease ‘Driving While Texting’

The California Highway Patrol is in the midst of a crackdown, issuing hundreds of tickets per day to drivers who are texting or talking without a hands-free kit of some kind. A lot of experts and politicians are chiming in on the matter, but I don’t think the masses listen to research wonks as much as celebrity magazines and gossip sites.

According to People, a plastic surgeon with high-profile celebrity clients recently died. He apparently drove off of a cliff in Malibu while updating his Twitter status. The urgent message being sent had something to do with his dog, who was riding with him and survived the wreck.

Texting while driving is inherently dangerous, but it is still socially acceptable, at least in some social circles. I think highlighting the problem in on shows and publications that set the tone for what’s ‘cool’ and what’s not is the best way to adjust the behavior of the masses. Lifestyle media can paint certain behaviors in a negative light and help change behavior.

The this video is another approach that can hammer home the (gory) message that driving while is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But people don’t tend to re-watch videos. A more persistent drone of ‘this isn’t cool’ will do a lot of good.