How Do You Get Young People to Stop Texting and Driving? Educate Them One Thumb at a Time
NEW YORK, June 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash, yet about 25 percent of teens respond to and 30 percent read a text message once or more every time they drive. That’s why DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, and Sprint have teamed up for the fifth year to give young people unique, impactful, and fun ways to take action on the issue of texting and driving.
Teenagers are more likely to change their behavior if a suggestion comes from someone their age, however talking about a dangerous behavior like texting and driving can be difficult. DoSomething.org and Sprint have developed two campaigns, Thumb Wars and Backseat Adviser, that use fun, engaging content instead of fear tactics to get young people to start the conversation about texting and driving with their friends.
- Thumb Wars asks young people to sign up at ThumbWars.org to receive two free pairs of Thumb Socks (little yellow socks you wear on your thumbs) in the mail. Participants keep one pair for themselves and share the other pair with a friend or family member who texts and drives. This uses the power of peer-to-peer networks to make a real difference in texting and driving behavior.
- Backseat Adviser uses the proven model of bystander intervention to give teens the tools they need to be able to speak up to people who text and drive. Since asking someone to stop texting and driving can be awkward, Backseat Adviser equips teens with an SMS experience that gives them personalized things they can say to start that conversation. To sign up, young people can text SEAT to 38383 or visit dosomething.org/backseat.
“Most campaigns on texting and driving use frightening statistics and click-to-pledge tactics to engage young people, which often backfire,” said Dave DeLuca, Head of Campaigns at DoSomething.org. “We know that with young people, fun and love are more effective tactics. Thumb Wars gives our members a fun and unique way to ask the people in their lives to not text and drive, which leads to an amazing amount of engagement.”
Actress and singer Laura Marano teamed up with DoSomething.org to record a public service announcement for the campaign to get her fans involved and prevent them from texting and driving.
“I love that the Thumb Wars campaign is a fun and positive way to get teens to stop texting and driving,” said Laura Marano. “I think the messaging resonates with teens and the Thumb Socks are really cute!”
“Sprint is proud to be a partner and sponsor of the DoSomething.org Thumb Wars campaign for the fifth year in a row,” said Debby Ballard, director of corporate social responsibility at Sprint. “This creative program has been a great asset in raising awareness about texting while driving among teens, their family and friends. We look forward to positively impacting more wireless users with this important message.”
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