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Volkswagen sends text message
to distracted drivers

Clever ad campaign uses predictive text to highlight dangers

Published July 7, 2013

Volkswagen is taking aim at the distracted driving “epidemic” with a stark but affecting ad campaign  that highlights the dangers of using your phone while driving.

Known simply as “I’m in traffic,” the ad campaign is the result of collaboration between VW and  Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town, South Africa, according to an article in PSFK.

It features a series of posters showing how predictive text is ominously finishing sentences for a distracted driver. The ads show a single, unfinished text  against a white background, such as, in one example: “I’ll be there in a w(while; wheelchair).

People who use their phone to text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash, compared with those who choose to wait until they reach their destination to send that all important message, recent statistics quoted by the CAA show.

Many studies and public awareness campaigns have focused on the deadly practice of texting while driving, but the VW ad campaign is a unique venture on the part of an automobile manufacturer.

The poster ads appeal directly to drivers, and make them realise that when choosing to use their phone, they are actually just as likely to end up in a trauma ward as they are complete a text that can probably wait.

Some sobering stats

  • Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Research: www.vtti.vt.edu

  • 75% of teens say texting while driving is common among their friends
             2012 AT&T-conducted survey
  • 90% say they’d stop if a friend in the car asked them to
             ConnectSafely.org
  • 78% of teen drivers say they’re likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it’s wrong or stupid
                          ConnectSafely.org
  • 44% say that they would be thankful if a passenger complained about their texting while driving
             ConnectSafely.org
  • More than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting

National Safety Council http://www.ncs.org/

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