by Annette Dashofy
Have you seen the public service announcement from the UK on the dangers of texting? I wanted to post it here, but YouTube has put a block on it for graphic content. It basically shows three young girls driving while texting and as a result, crashing head-on into another vehicle. In slow motion. Heads are whipped around and smash through windows. There are screams and terror. Then, as the cars settle in a mangled heap, another vehicle collides with them.
Graphic? I suppose so. And yet…
We don’t produce PSAs like that here in the US. It’s okay to produce a movie filled with explosions and chain saw massacres and blood and guts. But create a short film to show kids what really happens in a car crash? No. That’s too much.
This isn’t the only bloody PSA the UK has produced. When I took the Citizens’ Police Academy, they showed one illustrating what happens in a collision when one occupant of a vehicle decides not to buckle up. Also filmed in slow motion, that PSA showed the unrestrained passenger become a human projectile, being flung around inside the car, smashing into the properly seat belted passengers. At the end, the voiceover stated that had all occupants been belted, none would have died. As it were, only one (out of five, I believe) survived.
I always was a stickler for making sure my passengers wore their seatbelts. Now, the car doesn’t move until everyone has buckled up.
And the one on speeding? Let’s just say, I’ve slowed down considerably since viewing that PSA.
So why are we, here in the US, so prudish? Do we not want to expose our youth to such horror? Excuse me. Have you seen the movies they watch?
Besides, I question whether this texting PSA is really all that graphic. Is it difficult to watch? Yes. But I worked on an ambulance for five years. I saw first hand the results of vehicular accidents. I held a crushed skull oozing brain matter in my hands. I held pressure on a femoral artery of a nearly severed leg. Trust me. That PSA is tame. Real, living actors could not recreate the trauma a body sustains in that kind of collision.
I used to say all new teenaged drivers should spend a month riding along on an ambulance. Let them see what can happen. But maybe they simply need to watch a few of these PSAs from the UK.
What do you think?