Texting is the leading cause of death of American teenagers.
Drivers using cell phones are 5 times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers.
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 people are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
Airdates for DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION:
KNME-TV Ch.5.1- Albuquerque/Santa Fe Thursday, June 12 at 7:00 pm
KOB 4, Thursday June 5 at 7:00 pm & June 7 at 5:00 am
KENW Portales, Monday June 16 at 9:00 pm
KRWG 22 Las Cruces, Saturday June 21 at 8:00 pm
“Texting is such a bad combination when it comes to driving. It takes your eyes off the road long enough that you simply are no longer really looking where you’re going and it’s a recipe for disaster.”
David Strayer, PhD Cognition and Neural Scientist
“And it happens at least 11 times a day, just for teenagers. And I know that there’s a lot of parents, after a sleepless night tonight, they’re gonna have to plan a funeral.”
Johnny Mac Brown, Father
Cell phones and other electronic devices have become a seamless part of our everyday life. Leaving home without a cell is worse than forgetting your briefcase or school backpack. As a result, the use of cell phones and other devices in our cars has skyrocketed and we can see them at every stop light. The problem is over half of our population (60% of those under 35, according to NHTSA) think that talking on the phone makes no difference to our driving performance. “People think they can get away with it,” says producer/director Chris Schueler. “And the truth is, many times they do. But the one time they don’t, is a very sad day.”
“This is crucial information for teens and for parents,” says Thom Turbett, President of the Board of SafeTeen New Mexico. “And in addition to the full documentary that we’ll distribute to all the school districts and the PTA’s, we have shorter training videos that can be used in schools along with a curriculum guide.”
Produced by multiple Emmy © Award winning director/producer, Chris Schueler, the project is presented by SafeTeen New Mexico, NM Department of Transportation, Bernalillo County Substance Abuse Prevention Program, State Farm Insurance Company, Cooperative Educational Services, Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico, New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders, New Mexico School Boards Association, and the New Mexico Parent Teacher Association in association with KOB-TV 4, KNME-TV 5, KENW-TV 3, and KRWG-TV 22.
The documentary uses interviews with distracted driving expert Dr. David Strayer, brain experts Dr. Andrew Mayer and Dr. William Shuttleworth along with dozens of New Mexico youth to highlight how the brain works while driving and how youth are in a particularly vulnerable situation while driving distracted. In addition to the statistics, the project also explores how quickly everything happens when an accident occurs.
“Time is really not our friend when we drive,” says Chris Schueler, Executive Director of SafeTeen and the producer of the film, “and from the experts we learn how various distractions take precious moments away from what we should be concentrating on while driving.” In addition to the documentary, the one hour program will also present a live half hour follow up show that will focus on solutions.
“New Mexico PBS is proud to be taking part in this community-wide, New Mexico broadcasters’ effort, to not only focus on and expose the real dangers of texting as a group, but to provide solutions as well,” said Franz Joachim, General Manager & CEO, New Mexico PBS. “We are happy to once again be partnering with Chris Schueler on exposing issues of importance and relevance to New Mexicans.”
The Albuquerque Mayors Youth Advisory Council is involved in the project through production, marketing and distribution work. They have created a facebook page and are overseeing the Gala Premiere, which is slated for May 20 at 7pm at the Kimo Theatre. The premiere is open to the public for free and doors open at 6pm. In addition to the documentary, there are shorter, targeted videos created for Middle Schools, High Schools and Parents. For information please visit www.SafeTeen.net or www.ChristopherProductions.org
SafeTeen New Mexico has assembled information and resources on it’s website including a free, downloadable discussion guide to be used with the program and a tape order form.