Crash survivor’s safety plea to young drivers
NEW CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS DANGERS OF USING A MOBILE PHONE WHILE AT THE WHEEL
A WOMAN who was critically injured in a crash on the M1 in Leicestershire has shared her experiences for a new safety campaign.
The dangers of using a mobile phone while driving are being highlighted with the help of Liese Bowers-Straw, who in November 2014 was caught up in a crash caused by a driver who was distracted because she was using her phone.
A man in another vehicle died in the smash, which closed the motorway for 18 hours.
Mrs Bowers-Straw broke her neck in two places, tore the muscles across her hips and stomach, lost her teeth and suffered a brain injury, as well as severe psychological trauma.
She appears on one of two videos promoting the four-week campaign, organised by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership (LLRRSP).
The group has teamed up with Leicestershire digital performance agency Effect, which has used the talents of students from De Montfort University’s Demon Media group to produced video content designed to resonate with young drivers.
The first video highlights how distracting mobile phones can be while carrying out day-to-day tasks, while the second features the students discussing the use of mobile phones behind the wheel with Mrs BowersStraw, who was driving home from work on November 25, 2014, when she was caught up in a collision involving eight vehicles.
The campaign aims to remind drivers, particularly millennials, of the dangers of using a phone while at the wheel, whether taking a call, texting or even choosing some music.
With 31 per cent of drivers admitting to using a mobile phone to either make or take a call, check texts, e-mails or social media while driving, the LLRRSP is keen to highlight that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal and can result in a fine of £200 and six penalty points.
Even more worrying is that drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a crash if using a phone and reaction times of a driver are slower when texting and driving than that of someone drink-driving.
The videos have been issued via paid for advertising across Facebook to target the key audiences.
LLRRSP spokesman Jonathan Clarkson said: “Mobile phone use behind the wheel is increasing and we need to reduce this, so we wanted to highlight the dangers to road users, while also making the consequences of those actions really clear.”
INJURIES: Liese Bowers-Straw in 2016, two years after being caught up in an M1 crash (main picture)