Gory Texting PSA is Good for Teens

Filed under: In The News, Gadgets, Opinions

Thirteen years ago, I survived a head-on collision after the driver of an oncoming vehicle fell asleep at the wheel. The accident was gruesome. My boyfriend and his friend, the driver of our rental car, died in the accident. I was ejected out of the passenger-side window and sustained very serious injuries to my right leg that still affect me today (I have arthritis, a limp and difficulty running).

That's why I was conflicted about viewing the much-debated British public service announcement depicting the very realistic and graphic scene of an accident caused by a group of teenage girls texting while driving. When the CNN newscaster gave a warning to viewers, I almost changed the channel for fear it would provoke flashbacks to my own nightmare.

I watched it; and it did. But if it prevents even one person from texting, talking on the cell or falling asleep at the wheel, it's worth it. PSAs have always relied on shock value -- this one just ups the ante for a generation that's seen it all.

There's a good reason PSAs employ the use of shock and searing images. It's simple. Most PSAs are directed at young people and most young people think they're invincible. I did. My own life is divided into two parts. Before and after my accident. Before my accident, I took a lot more chances, like getting a ride home from someone who had been drinking, or riding on the back of a motorcycle without a helmet.

My own accident was not the fault of anyone in my car. Nonetheless, the tragic aftermath had a life-changing affect. After my accident, I understood mortality, pain, loss and tragedy. These are hard lessons to learn at the tender age of 24. As someone who has been in a head-on crash, I encourage you to show your teen the texting PSA. I know it's hard to watch, but believe me, there are far more painful ways of learning the lesson.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.