Steve's Blog: Graphic video shows dangers of texting while driving

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - I saw a video on You Tube recently that made me cringe.

It's sort of a public service announcement that was created in Britain and runs about four minutes in length. The subject is a graphic dramatization about the inherent dangers of "texting while driving."

First off, I must admit that I've been guilty of this myself on occasions. But I think I'll forever swear off the practice after seeing this video.

It has a car filled with teenage girls heading down the highway. The music is playing, the teens are giggling and the driver is texting. This video is so powerful because of the graphic (and disturbing) images it shares.

While the young driver is busy texting, her car veers over the center line. She slams into an oncoming vehicle. The following moments are a combination of screams, slow motion heads bouncing around the vehicle, and bloody injuries becoming visible.

For anyone who's been in an accident, the scene is an eerie reminder of what that experience was like.

I was slammed into at a stop light a couple years ago when someone ran the red. This PSA video gave me flashbacks.

The realism of the scene was right on target. Things move so quickly, your mind simply can't begin to process all that's happening. You seem to go into this kind of "slow motion" world where each second is perceived and played out dramatically.

That's the way it is in a wreck, and that's the way it was captured in this video so perfectly.

The realism of the tragedy is disturbing. But there's no time to catch your breath.

As soon as you've seen the car load of teenagers come to a halt following the immediate impact of the crash, it happens again. The same car is then slammed broadside by another vehicle which couldn't avoid the collisions between the other two.

What follows is more slow motion body slamming, screams and injuries.

The video plays out with help arriving, first from passers by and then by police and emergency medical responders.

If you don't have a strong stomach, you may want to avoid the video. It is extremely graphic, but certainly realistic.

After I watched it, I made my 21-year-old daughter take a look as well. She is in the generation that considers cell phones irreplaceable; texting and cell calls are their life lines.

However, she also has heard me preach against texting and driving. I ramped up that preaching another notch after viewing this video.

Some have suggested it be mandatory viewing for middle school and high school students. Post your comments below, and let me know what you think.

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