Would you show your teen this bloody texting/driving PSA?

A new very violent, very graphic PSA against texting while driving is creating a buzz on the Internet.

The PSA was created in Great Britain and shows very graphically what could happen if teens are driving and texting. It shows teen girls texting and then crashing into a car. And it only gets worse from there. The girls’ car is hit by another car and then other cars fatally crash into the ones behind them.

I have to warn you before you watch this, it is VERY UPSETTING! I literally felt like I was going to throw up after watching it. They even show a baby dead.  (I personally wouldn’t watch it if I were pregnant or just had a baby – it’s that upsetting!)

Kansas City.Com reports that the clip that landed on You Tube is part of a 30-minute video that was made to be shown to students in South Wales.

Another big point I think this video illustrates is wear your darn seatbelt — even in the back seat!

So my questions are:

A.      What do you think of the video? Is it too violent? Is it too graphic? Do we need to see the dead baby?

B.      Would you show this clip to your teen?

C.      Do you think it would make them think before driving and texting?

D.      Would you be OK with a school showing it to your teen? (I would think you would have to sign a permission slip for them to show this at school.) We did watch a D.A.R.E. or MADD movie in high school about drunk driving. I remember it being pretty scary, but I don’t remember it being this graphic.

115 comments Add your comment

DB

August 26th, 2009
10:56 am

Heck, yes, I would show it to them. As a matter of fact, I just sent them a copy of it, and my husband to, as well as a couple of other young people that I know and love, and told them to watch it, promise me they would stop texting — and I would promise to stop texting, too. I’m as guilty as they are, but that’s that — cold turkey for me. I knew it was wrong, but this video really drove it home.

What is TOO graphic? This is what happens when you drive stupid. People die. I’d rather them see it in a film, than have them witness it first-person. I personally don’t think it’s any more violent than those movies they showed us in driver’s ed in the 1970’s — pictures of cars wrapped around trees, decapitated bodies, blood all over the place, etc., etc. We saw about a dozen of them — it was when driver’s ed was still taught as part of P.E. for 10th graders, and the semester usually ended with “hell week”, where the instructors showed these films every day. It was supposed to make you think — and for the most part, it did, to the extent that teenagers think that it could happen to anyone but them. It’s just live action instead of a lot of still shots of accident scenes. No, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Kids (and sometimes adults!) need to undersand that actions can have unintended consequences.

SB

August 26th, 2009
11:02 am

I have two tweens so I’m a few years away. But yes, I would show it. I would rather them see an unsettling video than experience the consequences of a serious car crash. Most teenagers simply underestimate what an enormous responsibility it is to drive. Personally I never wore a seatbelt until a very powerful video was shown to us at school. Visuals can capture the attention in a way talking just cannot.

gadyke

August 26th, 2009
11:03 am

Ok, to answer your questions first:
A. Extremely violent, and as much as the dead baby made me sick, it might be what a teen needs to get the message.
B. I would, but my partner’s best friend was killed most likely being on her phone driving.
C. I think there are some that will never get the message unless something horrible happens to them. Others might think twice, and that would be a good thing.
D. I would be ok with a school showing it, but I most definitely think there would have to be permission slips. While I would be ok, I know there would be may parents who would not.

I received this video from my 15 yr old niece who’s mother sent it to her and her twin sister. I think the one that sent it to me took the message to heart….the other….is probably more of a “that wouldn’t happen to me” kind of girl. I hope I’m wrong. I know adults who do this and need to see this video too. I used to be one who talked on my phone all the time while driving….it was when I’d catch up with family and friends. After meeting my partner and hearing what happened to her best friend, I’ve slowly changed that habit. I still slip on occasion, but this film will help me remember to put the dang phone down.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 26th, 2009
11:11 am

Folks we have two topics today — the teen driving and texting one and then also one about is cooking for your kids a moral imperative? It summarizes an interesting article about why parents don’t cook for the their families, why this trend developed and the “cost” of this trend on our kids. It’s the topic right under this one.

LT

August 26th, 2009
11:28 am

There is a real simple solution to this. Just don’t buy your teen a texting phone.

Jesse's Girl

August 26th, 2009
11:32 am

Yes…I would absolutely show this to my oldest. Accidents happen….and I would stress to her the part they aren’t showing. The part where this young lady will likely be getting her college education in jail.

Andrea

August 26th, 2009
11:34 am

I watched the video and yes, it is disturbing but I would show it to my son. He isn’t driving yet (13 – will be 14 in Nov), but he has already started learning to drive. To answer the questions:

A. It was violent, but that is reality. Sometimes, teens need that “in your face” type to get the message.

B. Yes, I would show it to my teen.

C. Yes, I think it would help bring the message home. Teenagers don’t think of themselves as mortal sometimes. We didn’t as teens, you just thought you would live forever and unfortunately, every child doesn’t make it out of his/her teenage years.

D. I wouldn’t have a problem with them seeing it as school as long as I was informed first.

To take it one step further, our school district has shown bus crashes to the kids to stress to them the importance of their behavior on the bus and how the bus driver cannot be distracted for a second for inappropriate behavior. My son really talked about the tapes so I think it did resonate with him.

jellybean

August 26th, 2009
11:35 am

there is no dead baby in that video

DB

August 26th, 2009
11:42 am

jellybean, I think Theresa was referring to the baby that wasn’t moving, crying, or blinking, which seems abnormal in the circumstances. . Obviously, it’s a PSA, so NO ONE died in the making of this movie, but the staring baby was a bit unsettling.

gadyke

August 26th, 2009
11:43 am

jellybean….if you listen to the audio, you can hear them saying they can’t get or hear a heartbeat when they are examining the baby

JJ

August 26th, 2009
11:50 am

EVERY teenager needs to see this video!!!!

Every idiot who texts while driving needs to see this Video.

I personally do not text while driving. It’s just too dangerous. I tried it when I first got my new phone, but it’s just impossible to pay attention to the road and the other idiot drivers who think they can text and drive.

Seriously put the damn phone down while driving. NOTHING is as important as your life, or the lives of your fellow drivers and passengers.

I mean come on, common sense people…..

Brad Jones

August 26th, 2009
11:58 am

Show it. When I took drivers’ ed in high school, we were shown material more gory than this. It got everyone’s attention, and I remember it to this day.

Joyce

August 26th, 2009
12:09 pm

Definitely show it. It *is* graphic, but I think teens need to see consequences on a very personal level for them to register. I would show it, or something similar to my son when he’s driving age. I hope it would make him and at least a few others think twice. The video would be very appropriate in a school setting in a lesson about life choices. I think a perission slip would be needed. I would be in favor of kids seeing it, but would like a heads-up in order to reinforce the lesson at home and help my child process it.

Jess

August 26th, 2009
12:11 pm

Wow, that was very disturbing, yes, I know it is not real but it is very realistic and quite true to reality. Frankly I feel like crying right now.

Owned by 3 huge dogs

August 26th, 2009
12:17 pm

As an ER nurse, this is all in a day’s work. People just don’t think it can happen to them. I see it all the time. I think this video is graphic, scary, but all too real, and should be required viewing. It isn’t just teens, but they are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, and they just don’t think.

good grief

August 26th, 2009
12:24 pm

That was seriously sickening.

I do not text while driving, however, I have been known to answer the phone when it rings. I will stop doing that compltely.

I make that pledge. I will never use my cell phone in my car again, period. In fact, I will now put it in my brief case in the back seat.

But nothing makes you completely safe. even if you are a good driver, some other person can kill you.

Cubbie Girl

August 26th, 2009
12:25 pm

This sounds akin to the Scared Sober presentations of the 1980’s. The carnage of irresponsible behavior while driving, whether drinking or texting, should be shown to teens. It probably wouldn’t hurt to show it to older drivers who are also foolish enough to engage is these behaviors as well.

Razz

August 26th, 2009
12:26 pm

i do think it should be shown to everybody. unfortunately teens think they are invinsible and that it would never happen to them.

Name (required)

August 26th, 2009
12:27 pm

That is a VERY well-done production. While I think the driving age should be raised to 18 and it should be a LOT more difficult and expensive to get a drivers license in this country, I think the current (inadequate) “driver’s ed” curriculum should include videos like this to show the result of how STUPID texting/calling while driving is.

Now that I think about it, that should be required watching for EVERYBODY young and old before being allowed to renew their license. I just got rear-ended this morning by a guy on the phone. Not happy.

Meme

August 26th, 2009
12:29 pm

What happened to the video? There is no link.

DK

August 26th, 2009
12:29 pm

Maybe I’m a product of the TV generation where we are becoming immune to the violence on TV but I don’t think that this video is that “disturbing.” Is is extremely obvious that it is a manufactured video so, first, while the message is a good one let’s not try to act like this is real car accident footage or real, dead babies. Let your teenagers watch it.

Second, if you are still questioning whether or not to show this to your teenager, have you parents ever thought that with all the media coverage of this video over the past couple of days, that any internet-savvy teenager has probably already seen this or will see it in the near future? What do you think teenagers do on the internet? Play solitaire with other kids? Think about it!

Third, while this is kind of reiterating the first point I made, the fact that this is “manufactured footage” for lack of a better term, takes away from the shock value and will likely make kids think twice about texting while driving but probably won’t make most of them stop doing it if they already do. No matter how many videos you show them there is still the idea that it won’t happen to them. Let them watch. It will help, but it won’t save the world.

Charley

August 26th, 2009
12:32 pm

Damn straight I would show it. AND, I have no problem with anyone else showing it to my kids. Sorry, but we need a reality check here. The kids of today have gotten so into “Never happen to me because I know what I’m doing”. Well, HELLO…it can and often does.

Bev

August 26th, 2009
12:33 pm

Absolutely show it to teens and adults. My stepdaughter likes to text at red lights, and I have grabbed the phone from her for doing this. She needs to get the message. Hopefully this video will do it.

Buzzfan®

August 26th, 2009
12:34 pm

It’s basically the visually-graphic (and updated for technology) version of the old “Dear Abby” column, “Please, God, I’m Only Seventeen!”, which I have already shown to my permit-carrying 15-yr-old son.

I would have no problem showing him this video.

Reggie Reg

August 26th, 2009
12:34 pm

I made my girlfriend sit and watch with her 17 and 19 year old while I was on the phone listening. The sheer silence as they watched told me it was effective. Teens are text addicts!!!!! The 19YO can’t do anything for more than 5 minutes without stopping to text someone…crazy!!! Yesterday my celly stayed in the holster ALL THE WAY HOME!! I was enlightened. No one and nothing is that important, and texting while driving is an invitation to a casket. Very moving. Very effective. It should be shown right before a teen takes the driving test…it should be a mandatory requirement. Crash scenes from real fatal accidents could be a bonus reinforcement if the video is not enough.

Bikerchick

August 26th, 2009
12:38 pm

Our teenagers are not allowed to have phones that text and we have blocked incoming texts on their phones as well. If they need to communicate with their friends, they can call or be called. If they decide to buy a phone that texts, it will be with their own money and they will also have to have a cellphone account in their own name and pay for that as well.

Am I a “mean and hateful” parent? Too strict? Maybe so, but teens that drive already have enough to distract them in the car, their friends, the CD player, MP3 player, radio, GPS Nav system, etc., etc. Any kid of mine who is ever caught texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, will surrender their keys and their driver’s license until age 18, period, no second chances and no do-overs.

Trey

August 26th, 2009
12:41 pm

I don’t have any kids, yet, but I honestly believe that as disturbing as it is that people from all over the world need to see this kind of PSA. Its better to see videos like this rather than experiencing it first hand. It may be disturbing but it is reality and we can’t hide gory and disturbing stuff like this from kids and make them believe that our world is perfect and nothing bad like this can happen.

Together for 12

August 26th, 2009
12:42 pm

I read all of Theresa’s comments, including the one about the baby. Then I watched the video.

It isn’t too graphic. It’s what teens and adults all need to see. About a year ago, we had two teen girls driving their cars on a 2 lane road just a couple miles from me. They were goofing around, and one was trying to pass the other on a blind hill. She swerved when she saw an oncoming car. She overcompensated and ended up in the woods. She died. The oncoming car was her friend’s father who witnessed the entire wreck and death of his daughter’s friend. They were just fooling around a little bit on a road both girls knew well – and one died.

Part of me wants to say the baby is too much, but another part of me says no, it’s not. As I type this, my 10 mo. precious little girl is sitting in my lap. I cried. This could happen to her, and seeing that tiny baby motionless in the carseat hit home for me – HARD. I don’t text and drive, and rarely talk on the phone (I use a wireless headset) while driving. I don’t think I’ll be doing even the headset anymore. No more phone while driving.

Imagine killing all those people, orphaning that little girl, killing that little baby, and having to live with that for the rest of your life. And why? Because you let yourself be distracted while driving. That is a lifetime nightmare.

I do think teens need to see it and schools need to show it. I guess as a parent, I’d like to see the video before allowing my teen to see it. However, I do think teens need to see it and I think adults need to see it too.

Trey

August 26th, 2009
12:43 pm

Bikerchick, you aren’t mean or hateful its better for them to be temporarily mad at you than to never get to see them, again.

DecaturCyn

August 26th, 2009
12:46 pm

Every driver needs to watch this video. I don’t have a teen, and I don’t use my cell phone while driving, but I still appreciate this graphic reminder to minimize distractions in the car. Thanks to this, I’m going to be a little more mindful the next time I’m on the road.

Trey

August 26th, 2009
12:52 pm

Bikerchick, you aren’t mean or hateful its better for them to be temporarily mad at you than to never get to see them again.

momnteacher

August 26th, 2009
12:53 pm

I am a high school teacher, and I was forwarded the link to the PSA yesterday. I watched it last night, and today in class, I asked my students if they had seen it. Some had, some had not; for those who had not, I suggested that they check it out at home tonight. Several asked me to show it in class, and while I didn’t feel comfortable doing so without parental permission, I surely WANTED to show it to them! I have been guilty of texting on occastion while driving, and I am NOT proud to say this, with my two baby girls in the car. After seeing this, I realize what a stupid mistake that is, and I will not be doing it again. I hope my students will watch and say the same thing!

Old Man Tate

August 26th, 2009
12:53 pm

What about “James” the person they were texting? Have you thought about his feelings? He is sitting there waiting for a return text from his girlfriend only to get more angry by the minute that she did not return the text. He probably thinks she does not want to be his friend anymore. Now he feels stood up. That is the true tragedy in all of this!

motherjanegoose

August 26th, 2009
12:54 pm

Yes, my daughter will see this tonight. She is about to get her driver’s license and this will hopefully send her a strong message. She is very conservative and cautious about driving as she witnessed a neighbor run over our little schnauzer 2 feet from the curb in front of our house. Animals are NOT the same as children but this REALLY impacted her. We saw a dead deer on the way to school yesterday and she was very upset.

FireMedic

August 26th, 2009
12:58 pm

I work for Fire Rescue here in the metro Atlanta area. In fact we are the largest FireRescue in Georgia. We see this scene EVERY day. The only thing lacking in this PSA is that while driving and texting they did not show the teens drinking or smoking pot. Well over half of the injury accidents we run involve drinking or drugs…and yes that includes little Billy and Sally. Show this PSA to your children…then show it to them again. I have been a medic for over 25 years and nobody ever gets used to scenes like is shown here. We see them every day and it is your children that we are trying to save. Show them….save them. Please.

good grief

August 26th, 2009
12:59 pm

While I was in highschool, 4 of my classmates were killed in accidents. 2 were drunk. One had a flat tire and over corrected and had no seat belt. One hydroplaned while passing a semi in the rain.

There are lots of ways to be killed in a car. The friend who died while not wearing a seatbelt is still in my mind every time I “click it”.

I never drive without my seat belt.

Patrick

August 26th, 2009
1:02 pm

I say show it to your kids. Also it should be shown in school. Who needs permission? Yes, some parents would complain, but they’re the ones who also would permit their kids to text while driving, claiming that “I’m not worried about my child being in an accident due to texting while driving. He/She’s a safe driver.” Well, your “safe driver” just ran a red light. In reality, there’s no such thing as a safe driver.

I remember when I was in high school the local County Sheriff’s Department showed us slides from a few wrecks that had occurred over previous years. What I wish they had done, and I know some places do it, is take a group of students to a staged “accident” scene, or else take some of them to an actual accident scene. If I had a teenager reaching driving age, if we witnessed an accident due to careless driving, I’d probably pull over and make him/her watch as the scraped the victims’ brains up off the street with a shovel. Oh, no…that would traumatize the child for life! Might scare him! Good. Teens need a good scare to remind them they’re not indestructable or immortal.

“Joe don’t you remember those films they showed us in high school?! Red Asphalt?! Blood on the Highway?!”
“Buddy, you just picked two of my favorites!”

- Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd, “Dragnet” (1987)

Sonja

August 26th, 2009
1:04 pm

Absolutely show it!! Teens and Adults need to see this and understand it takes only a second for a tragedy to happen. Grpahic but REAL!!

Yankee

August 26th, 2009
1:05 pm

I think it depends on your kid and how serious you think their “texting” problem is.

However, I will tell you this: I’m a person who is on my blackberry while driving too often — and admittedly in front of my kids. I watched that PSA and decided I will never do it again. Not only for my own safety but to set the right example for my kids.

Very powerful.

AJ

August 26th, 2009
1:07 pm

I did show the video to my son who is 16 and to my 10 year old daughter. We were hit by someone on their phone 6 years ago and my son is now paralyzed from that accident. It hit very close to home. Yes I am guilty of answering my phone while driving and will not do it anymore.

Tea

August 26th, 2009
1:09 pm

If you wouldn’t watch this video, how can you stand behind your government’s decision to send young men and women into a war zone? Don’t you think you should at least be able to confront what your nation’s soldiers have to live through in order to protect you!?

Eric

August 26th, 2009
1:15 pm

It should be mandatory viewing for every driver!

good grief

August 26th, 2009
1:19 pm

Tea, I am not sure I understand the connection you are making.

However, now that I think about it, maybe there should be some really graphic video of actual combat and video of the fallen soldiers shown to those kids who are eager to join. If my kid wanted to join, I’d take him down to the VA hospital and make him talk to vets for a couple of days

Those recruiters rarely share that stuff. They paint rosey pictures for the kids and hard press them.

Tyree

August 26th, 2009
1:19 pm

I wish every cell phone owning licensed driver in the state of Georgia could see this graphic video.

motherjanegoose

August 26th, 2009
1:21 pm

@ AJ….I am so sorry….the video did not make me cry but your post did.

In case you do not think your kids are listening….
I told my son last week to be careful ( he is 22) driving on the interstate each morning to class, while he stays with us for a while. He has been at UGA for 4 years and 3 miles from campus or work. I shared a story of a friend whose daughter hydroplaned into the median and was killed, after a torrential downpour.
He came home a week later and said it was pouring rain and that he was driving very carefully. He had remembered what I had told him. I just wanted to hug him…he actually listened.

Life is so precious and accidents are happening all the time. Scary stuff.

P.R.I.D.E. Instructor (Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Errors)

August 26th, 2009
1:23 pm

So my questions are:

A. What do you think of the video? Is it too violent? Is it too graphic? Do we need to see the dead baby?
I haven’t seen this particular video, but have seen several just like it. Is it too violent? No. Fact: crashes are violent events. If you read a news report about a fatal accident and reporter states something like “the driver was an obvious fatality” it means “what was left of the driver isn’t identifiable…hopefully there are dental records…if we can find the teeth.”

B. Would you show this clip to your teen?
Being a P.R.I.D.E. instructor my teen has seen all of the extremely gaphic videos I have. If you DON’T show it to your teen you are doing them a true disservice.

C. Do you think it would make them think before driving and texting?
It may make them think before driving and texting for a little while, but they usually eventually revert back to bad habits; that is until someone they know gets hurt or killed by someone texting. They need more than one video. (See answer below.)

D. Would you be OK with a school showing it to your teen? (I would think you would have to sign a permission slip for them to show this at school.) We did watch a D.A.R.E. or MADD movie in high school about drunk driving. I remember it being pretty scary, but I don’t remember it being this graphic.

I WANT the schools to show each and every graphic video I have. I want them to bring people in to speak to the class who have been horribly mutilated by car crashes. I want them to play radio traffic between EMS and a trauma center where you hear the screams of the patient in the background. I want them to be in an ER when a parent comes to identify their teen’s body. (I know fire fighters who make sure they leave the ER before the parents get there because they can’t stand the screams of anguish.) Anything to make them THINK before they do something that takes their life or the life of someone else.

Tracee aka TiTi @ 47

August 26th, 2009
1:26 pm

Sad news is that most kids are playing video games that are just as violent. So many times even sharing this video with teens/children today doesn’t even “truly” affect them in a positive way because they have become desenitized by violence already. Sad but true.

Cranberry

August 26th, 2009
1:34 pm

ABSOLUTELY show it to my kids. My 14 year old will see it tonight!

NativeAtlantan

August 26th, 2009
1:42 pm

Absolutely show it to our kids. It’s the most realistic video I’ve ever seen and drives home the point — drivng is dangerous, driving while distracted is deadly. I’ll never forget what my father told me over 30 years ago when he handed me the car keys — “remember, it’s a killer”. And, that was before the days of cells phones…….

TechMom

August 26th, 2009
1:45 pm

Absolutely I will show it to my son. He’s 14 but just started HS and is all about getting his learner’s permit next spring. But he’s also all about texting and for whatever reason in the past year has to be reminded to put his seat belt on every time we get in the car. I keep telling him there is no way I’m letting him drive if I can’t trust that he’ll get in the car and put on his seatbelt without me reminding him.

I think that this video is graphic but hey, isn’t life? Teenagers don’t take things like this to heart so to speak because they don’t realize that this kind of stuff can happen to them. I think as adults we take things to heart (i.e. the baby) because we relate to the fact that life is so fragile. For the most part, teenagers don’t see life as fragile unless someone close to them has died.

I hope schools show this to kids! I actually work with the youth at our church and sent the link to our youth pastor. Every kid should see this. Even if it only makes half the kids think twice before texting and driving, it will be worth it.