Helpful Honda Tackles Texting While Driving Problem — Teen Style

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Honda has a knack for coming up with clever and memorable campaigns. To wit: the “Fight Mehdiocrity” for its hybrids and the Helpful Honda campaign. For April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, its hopefully scored another hit.

In line with Honda as the helpful car brand, the campaign called #TheTextTalk addresses the dangers of driving and texting. #TheTextTalk probably isn’t what you think it is. Playing off parents needing to sit down and have that cringeworthy sex talk with their kids, Honda flips the script. Kids sit their parents down to discuss having protected text.

Teens Take Charge

A lot of media attention focuses on wired-in kids fiddling with their phones while piloting their vehicle and parents needing to discuss the stupidity and dangers of that pastime.  But, parents are equally at fault, falling prey to the adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” So, Honda decided to encourage kids to step in to act as role models and have that dreaded but important discussion.

Honda created a long-form video hosted on their YouTube Channel featuring real conversations between kids and their parents discussing the importance of safe driving habits. These aren’t actors and the authenticity of the interactions really comes through and hits an emotional chord.

This campaign would have felt a bit manipulative and like lip service, an acknowledgement by parents of the problem without the commitment to solve it. But, the families sign a pledge to stop driving while distracted for the sake of their loved ones. Not only a contract, but one witnessed by millions. They really have to follow through. A PDF version of the pledge is available at Honda.us.pledge to print, sign and put up on the fridge to remind parents to behave.

You should remember, there are plenty of alternative to texting while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are among the many tools available to keep you productive while still undistracted behind the wheel.

Scary Statistics

Honda cites some chilling evidence of parents’ double standard with their kids about texting and driving. Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that one in three parents read text messages and one in seven use social media while driving their children between the ages of four and ten. And, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that each day in the United States more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

Campaign #TheTextTalk is all over Honda’s social media channels, including Twitter (@Honda), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Honda/), and Instagram (@Honda), throughout the month of April. In a powerful move, Honda bakes in interactivity, encouraging people to share the pledge by tagging their loved ones on social media. If that isn’t the best kind of peer pressure, I don’t know what is.

Kids never like to do what their parents tell them to. In fact, many times they’ll rebel and do just the opposite. With teens empowered to take charge and ownership of the distracted driving issue, they are tasked with holding their parents accountable as well as themselves.  #TheTextTalk campaign produced by Honda is smart and heartfelt. Most important, it really has the opportunity to make an impact. Just don’t check it out while you’re driving your hybrid, use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto!


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