Parents, Show This Ad About Texting and Driving to Your Teens Right Now

If you’ve ever been in a serious car accident, you know how fast (and yet, also how slow) everything moves. Sometimes you see the car coming at you, sometimes you just feel and hear that crunching impact and all you can think is “What is happening?” in a sort of slow motion thought.

When I was pregnant with our youngest, we were hit from behind by a guy who was looking down at his phone, looking at a work order from his boss. He was going about 70 MPH, and hadn’t seen that traffic had slowed to around 40 and his large pickup truck slammed into our minivan, where our 2 year-old was buckled into the middle row of seats in his car seat.

My husband saw the truck coming in the last fraction of a second and braced himself, I had no idea and was tossed forward. Our son instantly started screaming, and I watched as the impact turned us sideways. As we were turned, facing the traffic coming at us, I saw a giant oil tanker truck coming straight at us. I had enough time to think, “This is how we all die” before the driver, who is my hero, managed an evasive maneuver and swung a good 10 feet to the side of us, the wind from his passing mass shaking our car.

The man driving the pickup sprinted from his truck as my husband came out of the car about to swing on him. I yelled for him to get our son instead, who was screaming. I felt contractions in my belly and wandered out of the van a bit confused, holding my pregnant stomach. When the driver of the pickup saw me, and our little boy, he went white and seemed to get dizzy. He said he was sorry a thousand times. My husband couldn’t look at him, he just held our son.

We ended up being transported to the hospital on those back boards, our necks in braces. Our son was crying hysterically – turned out he had a broken collar bone from his seatbelt straps being tightened unevenly, not to mention had to watch his parents being put into an ambulance strapped down – but calmed down when he realized he was riding in an ambulance (he loved trucks and gadgets then) and on the lap of a heroic firefighter who was apparently also an expert at calming little kids. Fortunately, we were all pretty much fine.

But I will never forget the sight of that tanker coming straight at us, the thought of not being able to do anything. Not even enough time to really be afraid. When I look at photos taken of the car, I’m amazed we were okay. The minivan was totaled, and the back of the car had been pushed all the way into the middle seats. As in, had someone been in the third row they would have been crushed.

It’s important everyone understands what can happen when you look down for a moment. This ad shows the girl looking down at just the time she should’ve noticed a stop sign. That’s how it happens. Any of us who’ve been in accidents know this. You think you can plan, make a different decision, but most of the time you can’t. no texting while driving ad

About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer and editor with a special focus in issues facing raising boys and gender in the media. Her work has appeared on Redbook, Yahoo!, xoJane,,, and more. She and her husband are outdoor sports enthusiasts raising very active sons. She is currently co-editing a book of essays for boys and young men with author and advocate Jeff Perera. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. I ride the bus to work every day, comuting from the burbs to downtown Atlanta, which gives me a safe vantage point to watch the other drivers when I want to avoid doing work. More than 10% are texting while driving, over 20% are on the phone in some capacity.

    Frankly, I think it should be grounds for an immediate, 10-year revocation of their license (accident or not). The performance deficit is comparable to being drunk, and at least the drunk can claim they were impaired when they made the decision to drink and drive, while texters have no such excuse.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t normally comment however this is very timely…2 days ago a local off duty police officer was killed when his motorcycle was hit head on. The driver, a young woman was allegedly texting. The 32 year old officer leaves behind a widow and 2 children.

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