As Oprah tackles distracted driving, an opportunity opens for brands

texting-while-drivingLast week, Oprah Winfrey unveiled a PSA campaign for the first national No Phone Zone Day to honor victims of what’s being called distracted driving. The No Phone Zone goal is simple: Get people to pledge that they will stop using their phones to text, e-mail, Facebook or even talk while driving. (According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers were responsible for nearly 6,000 U.S. deaths and more than half a million injuries in 2008.)

To help drivers keep the temptation of technology at bay, several cell phone apps lock the phone while a car is in motion. The New York Times recently reviewed iZup, tXtBlocker, CellSafety and ZoomSafer, which use GPS to calculate whether the device is moving at more than 5-10 miles an hour.

How can brands address public anxiety over distracted driving and help to improve road safety? Just as marketers have promoted public safety issues such as “Don’t drink and drive,” this 21st-century issue is one that responsible brands would do well to align themselves with.

Photo Credit: mrJasonWeaver

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