San Francisco designer Brian Singer created a billboard campaign to “embarrass the shameful, dangerous behavior” of people who choose to text and driver. He has been collecting photos of drivers texting while in traffic (“TWIT”) and putting them up on billboards around the city. In a number of the photos, the artist circled the distraction to make it clearer, reported Time magazine.
Local residents who spot people breaking the law are also encouraged to submit photos of distracted drivers online to the Texting While In Traffic website. Accepted photos are those that show any activity that could be considered distracting including, eating, reading, watching a video, using a navigation system, and applying make-up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that has the potential to divert a person’s attention away from his or her primary task of driving.
The photos must clearly show the phone or distraction in addition to the driver’s s face. They cannot be taken from another car.
The artist said his goal was “to make people think twice about picking up their phones while behind the wheel.”
Auto accidents caused by texting while driving
Drivers need to give driving their full attention and focus to prevent car accidents. Distracted driving is a danger to the lives of passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and the drivers themselves. Texting while driving puts drivers at a two times higher risk of crashing, said the NHTSA.
According to the NHTSA, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012. Texting while driving is one of the top causes of death for teenagers. Twenty one percent of the drivers 15-19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were distracted by the use of cell phones.
Text messaging puts lives in danger more than most other types of driver distractions. This is because texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention.
Both New York and California prohibit texting while driving.
Distracted driving accidents, injuries and auto accident lawyers
Despite laws restricting the use of cell phones for texting while driving, police say it’s hard to determine when this type of distracted driving contributes to a crash. In a civil lawsuit, an auto accident lawyer at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., would help subpoena phone records if phone use were suspected as a contributor to a vehicular accident or an accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle.