In July 2015 the RSA launched a new campaign aimed at distracted parents ‘looking back’. This type of distraction is the second biggest type of distracted driving. It shows a lady looking back through her life with regret to the moment when, as a young mother, she literally looked back while driving, at her daughter sitting in the back seat, with tragic consequences.
However the biggest distraction for drivers is the mobile. Despite the fact that using them when driving is killing people on Irish roads, rational, intelligent people continue to text, make phone calls, take selfies or update their social pages while driving.
Making a call will make you four times more likely to crash. Texting: a staggering twenty-three times more likely.
When you use your mobile behind the wheel, taking your mind and eyes off the road for just a split second can destroy everything forever.
A new campaign for mobile distraction, which includes a 50 second TV ad entitled Anatomy of a split second focuses on just this point. We see a split second under the microscope – caught in time. We introduce the viewer to a serene world in a barbecue setting in a family garden. We see a series of actions, split seconds caught in a loop, the consequences are harmless. Just everyday life. However, as our focus moves over to the road, we see that a driver is texting on his mobile phone while driving. In that split second we see that a collision with a family is devastatingly imminent.
At the end of the ad, time returns to normal. We see the crash from the point of view of the phone. It’s a jarring, somewhat emotionally shocking scene. All of the serenity in the ad up to this point completely destroyed through one simple act of inattention. A split second is all it takes.
In the very last scene of the new ad we challenge the viewers: “Your mobile, would it kill you to put it away?”
Mobile Phones and Texting
Your mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash. And when you consider that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions, phone use and driving is an issue that we all need to think differently about.
In today’s world, mobile phones demand more and more of our attention. From calls to texting to using the Internet, we spend more time than ever with our entire focus devoted to our phones. This can be much worse than rude – behind the wheel it can be lethal.
Our previous campaign shows exactly how mobile phones take up all of our attention. On our TV commercial, we see the world from a skewed perspective – the perspective of a mobile phone user. It’s a cramped and claustrophobic world, and we can’t concentrate on our surroundings. It’s only finally when we put our phones away, that we can see objectively, and see our surroundings safely.
We’re asking drivers to realise how their phones take their attention away from the task at hand. And having your full attention is never more important than when you have the lives of other road users in your hands.
This same insight will be rolled out in different guises across all media channels.
It’s a constant reminder of the critical importance of keeping your mind wholly focused on the road, and, as the ad reminds us: it won’t kill you to put it away.
The following restrictions on the use of mobile phones while driving came in to effect 1st May 2014. More information can be found here.