Glee’s heartthrob Harry Shum Jr. is spreading the word that texting while driving is “stupid” and is in full support of “Thumb Wars,” a national campaign recently launched by DoSomething with the help of Sprint to motivate teens to use their thumbs to educate friends about the danger of texting while driving rather than other methods that have only proven to fail.
Studies show that teens who text and drive can actually take their eyes off the road for up to the length of a football field – that is a football field too long; with the even scarier thought of the number of people that could get hurt or lose their lives in just half that time. It’s time to help spread the word about not texting while driving and with thumb socks teens can have fun doing it.
The “Thumb Wars” campaign runs through August 2, 2012, with teens who sign up at DoSomething being able to receive two pairs of super-powered thumb socks to share with friends or family who text and drive (thumb socks actually do not have super powers but totally look like they do). Teens are encouraged to wear the socks while driving and share them with their friends in surprising ways to help prevent texting while driving.
Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teenagers in this country and teens are the most likely of all demographics to be in a distracted driving car accident because of a cell phone. Currently most campaigns on texting and driving use scare tactics to get teens to change their behavior. However, scare tactics are not always effective and research has shown they can often backfire. DoSomething.org, the nation’s largest organization for teens and social change, and Sprint are taking a different approach – making engagement with this issue fun for teens.
“Approximately 40 percent of American teens say they have been in a car with someone who was using their phone in a way that put them in danger,” said Sprint’s Director of Community Affairs Debby Ballard. “That is why we have once again partnered with DoSomething.org to bring awareness to this issue and help put a stop to texting and driving.”
Shum Jr. has done a fantastic job spreading the word, and with other celebrity supporters like funnymen Joel McHale and Ken Jeong who started a thumb war in honor of 2010’s inaugural campaign, the hope is that every teen – and their friends, siblings, and parents – will take heed and not only stop texting while driving, but also become an example to friends and family by wearing the socks while driving, or at least by supporting the no texting while driving campaign.
The California Highway Patrol has been battling the war against texting and driving for years, and although they may have had some success with some very compelling data or videos containing extremely insightful information or strong messages, teens and parents are still on the roads texting while driving ignoring the warnings. In fact, one of the most favored CHP videos of all time was humorous enough to make somewhat of an impact, but with statistics as they are today many believe that it only further proved that humor has a much better impact on teens than scare tactics.
Teens may also not realize that ticket fines can be outrageous as well as auto insurance rates once tickets or accidents hit their record, and they will hit shortly after the event occurs. Equally gloomy but not all that shocking is that it isn’t anymore uncommon to pull up to a stoplight or be seated at a restaurant only to look over and see an entire family texting; some people’s view of quality family time certainly isn’t what it used to when it used to be that families played board games or enjoyed a day at the beach, with cell phones completely out of the picture.
This may be a tech-savvy nation with the latest and greatest gadgets that enable anything and everything under and on the moon including the enhancement of quality of life, but technology will never be able to replace life. So please save texting for couch potato moments and friend hanging and help spread the word about “Thumb Wars.” You never know, the impact you make could be a life saved such as your own or someone you know and love.
For now, kick off your shoes (leaving just your socks on), grab a friend, mom or dad, and get your thumb socks on for a game of thumb wars on the nearest hardwood floor (see who can keep their balance the longest); hang your thumb socks from your radio knobs for constant reminders when driving not to text or make up your own thumb wars game – just do something to show that text-offender in your life you care and spread the word about “Thumb Wars.”
The DoSomething “Thumb Wars” campaign ends August 2, 2012. To sign up for free “Thumb Wars” socks visit: www.dosomething.org/thumbwars
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