Thursday, April 4, 2013

‘Don’t be a zombie’

One agency has taken a creative approach to curbing distracted driving. It’s one that Officer Rick Grimes just might approve.

The North Carolina DOT has launched a new campaign that targets texting-and-driving “zombies” who are not keeping their eyes and focus on the road.

The agency’s public service announcements should ring with viewers of hit zombie shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (hence the Grimes reference).

While capitalizing on the latest zombie craze, the PSAs carry a serious message.

“Zombies don’t just roam the streets on top-rated television shows. They drive on North Carolina roads every day – with cellphones in hand – putting other motorists at risk,” the agency stated in a link to a pair of YouTube videos.

NCDOT says two people died and 276 were injured in 904 crashes related to distracted driving last year.

The agency chose April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, to “put the brakes on this zombie outbreak by highlighting the dangers of distracted driving.”

The motto of the campaign is “Don’t be a zombie. Don’t drive distracted.”

I suppose the unofficial one might be, “Get a brain.”


  1. This outreach by the North Carolina DOT is commendable, because drivers need to be aware that the inherent dangers of driving distracted indeed make them resemble a zombie. What might seem like an innocent and quick text message while driving or harmless multitasking by putting on makeup while behind the wheel can turn into a collision with another driver, pedestrian or other object. Motorists put every individual on the road in danger when they drive distracted, and this deadly behavior can also include eating or drinking while driving, talking to other passengers, adjusting a GPS or radio and attempting to retrieve a dropped item.

  2. This clever marketing campaign references pop culture to get the public’s attention about a very real problem, and hopefully the strategy proves effective. While this campaign calls attention to the dangers of distracted driving, it could very well apply to driver fatigue as well. When commercial truck drivers are not well rested, the safety of all motorists and pedestrians is jeopardized. According to statistics submitted by an expert panel to the U.S. Department of Transportation's’ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2008, some truck drivers average only 5 hours of sleep per night while making hauls over multiple-day periods.


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