Bold 'Don't Text and Drive' vehicle is Glendale Fire's newest tool to promote safety

Bold 'Don't Text and Drive' vehicle is Glendale Fire's newest tool to promote safety

Bold 'Don't Text and Drive' vehicle is Glendale Fire's newest tool to promote safety

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 13 at 12:21 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Texting and driving is dangerous – potentially deadly. It’s a message that the Glendale Fire Department wants to hammer home and they have a new in-your-face tool to help them do it.

3TV’s Ryan O’Donnell gave us a look at the department’s new “Don’t Text and Drive” vehicle. If you look closely, you’ll see another message, just as important – “Don’t Text and Die.”

The Glendale Fire Department unveiled the uniquely wrapped vehicle, which was donated by Sanderson Ford, Friday morning.

Everybody knows and understands that drinking and driving is dangerous. Statistics show distracted driving is just as bad, if not worse.

According to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Distracted.gov, a driver distracted by texting is six times more likely to be involved in a crash than a drunk driver. That’s because a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds. It might not sound like much, but if you’re driving 55 mph, you’ll cover the length of an entire football field in those five seconds – without watching the road.

It’s a recipe for disaster. What’s more, it’s completely preventable.

Texting and driving is already illegal in Phoenix and Tucson, and other cities are considering similar laws.

In addition to the “Don’t Text and Drive/Don’t Text and Die” message, there’s also bold graphic that leaves little to interpretation – a skeletal hand holding a cell phone.

“The reason for the boldness is because this is becoming a very serious issue,” Michael Young of the Glendale Fire Department explained, saying the statistics for last year are alarming. “We did want to be very bold, catch people’s attention.

Among those alarming numbers: 1 in 4 accidents are causing by a driver who is distracted by his or her cell phone.

“Last year, more teens were killed from texting and driving versus driving under the influence,” Young continued.

The “Don’t Text and Drive/Don’t Text and Die” cars will be at all of the department’s events.

“Any time that we can get it out there, especially around teenagers, with homecoming and prom and things like that, we want it out there,” Young said.

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