Press Release

More Than 480,000 Drivers are on Their Phones at Any Given Daylight Moment; New PSAs Encourage Drivers to Break Their Texting and Driving Habit

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council, in partnership with Pereira O’Dell, remind drivers to not text and drive
More Than 480,000 Drivers are on Their Phones at Any Given Daylight Moment; New PSAs Encourage Drivers to Break Their Texting and Driving Habit

Washington, D.C. (October 16, 2018) – Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council announced new television and radio PSAs (public service advertisements) for their “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” campaign, which reminds drivers that distracted driving is never acceptable. According to the most recent NHTSA data, at any given time during daylight hours, an estimated 481,000 drivers are using handheld devices such as smartphones.* The new PSA can be viewed here.

“Reading or sending a text while driving isn’t worth risking your life and the lives of those around you,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “By helping drivers curb this habit, we will save nearly 10 lives from being lost to distracted driving each day.”

Ad Council research shows that more than nine in ten Americans believe sending (94%) and reading (91%) texts while driving is dangerous or very dangerous. However, while people know that the behavior is dangerous, many still text and drive regularly. 

To address the disconnect between awareness and behavior, the new creative assets, created pro bono by Pereira O’Dell, humorously depict the daily life of one man who just can’t put his phone down. He stumbles through life with his eyes glued to his screen – making blunders along the way – until he gets behind the wheel and responsibly puts his phone aside. This winking creative approach acknowledges the powerful need many people feel to always keep an eye on their phone and concludes with a reminder to “text and whatever, just don’t text and drive.”

“We wanted to demonstrate levity alongside a very serious situation that whether or not you love to be on your phone, the road is no place for that,” said Jason Apaliski, Executive Creative Director at Pereira O’Dell. 

The new creative work includes TV, radio and social media assets. Per the Ad Council’s model, the new PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and run in donated media time and space. To date, the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks” campaign has received approximately $225 million in donated media value.  

*Data source:



For more than four decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has served as the key federal agency charged with improving safety on our nation’s roadways. As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA is working to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries by promoting the use of safety belts and child safety seats; helping states and local communities address the threat of distracted, drunk and drug-impaired drivers; regulating safety standards and investigating safety defects in motor vehicles; establishing and enforcing fuel economy standards; conducting research on driver behavior and traffic safety; and providing consumer information on issues ranging from child passenger safety to impaired driving.For more information visit

About the Ad Council

The Ad Council brings together the most creative minds in advertising and media to address the most worthy causes. Its innovative, pro bono social good campaigns raise awareness. They inspire action. They save lives. To learn more,visit, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

About Pereira O’Dell

Pereira O’Dell ( is an award-winning advertising agency with offices in San Francisco and New York. The agency combines techniques from advertising, digital, social, PR and design to create innovative campaigns, experiences, programs, and products that are in sync with how consumers behave today. Among the Pereira O’Dell client roster are Ad Council, Adobe, The Cheesecake Factory, Fifth Third Bank, FTD, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MINI,, and Jet.


Ad Council Media Contact

Margaret Files

Ad Council


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Pereira O’Dell Media Contact

Sara E. Vinson

DiGennaro Communications


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