"You Are That Distracting"

It's a different approach highlighting the dangers of texting and driving.

There's a new ad campaign that launched Thursday by the Ad Council of Rochester.

A new series of television and radio ads are out. The campaign is reaching out to people who are outside of the car. If you are talking or texting with someone who is driving, wait until a safer time.

More than 77 percent of adults realize distracted driving is dangerous, yet they continue to do it.

"When people look back they were texting, they were talking, they look back at the messages that they were sending or receiving, it seems so unimportant and trivial relative to the injuries that they sustained," said Dr. Richard Constantino of Rochester General Hospital.

This campaign called "You Are That Distracting" recognizes that it's hard to ignore a call or text from someone when driving. That's why they are counting on people outside of the car to take action and help reduce the problem.

"Ask are you driving, or maybe the first line of your text is are you driving to make sure that they aren't contributing to putting their friend, their family member or their co-worker at risk," said Todd Butler, Ad Council of Rochester President and CEO.

The numbers are alarming. In our area alone, a survey showed 25 percent of people admitted to texting while driving in just the past month. That's compared to the national average of 18 percent.
Todd Butler says they don't have a concrete answer for why Rochester is ranked so high.

"We think that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to have the type of job where you are expected to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we think that may have something to do with it," said Butler.

Doctors say young people are seen in nursing homes and rehab centers due to distracted driving.

"To see this number of people injured and maimed and compromised for life or killed doing something that is totally preventable and unnecessary is very, very difficult," said Dr. Constantino.

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