Technology has made a huge impact on our lives. We can do almost anything with the simple click of a mouse or stroke of a key, including order our groceries, research a medical condition, hire a babysitter, talk to a relative on the other side of the world or even earn a living. This technology certainly has its benefits, but these benefits come with some real risks too.

Texting in itself isn’t going to cause us any physical harm; it is how or when we use this technology that will. Texting and driving has proven dangerous in terms of our own safety and the safety of those that we share the road with. In the year 2012 alone, over 33,000 car accident fatalities were linked to distracted driving.

Minnesota legislators have already taken the necessary steps to ban the behavior, but that doesn’t mean that all drivers have put down their cellphones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to make sure that the message is loud and clear this week, into the next and that it hopefully sticks in the minds of Minneapolis drivers long after that.

From April 7 through April 15, the NHTSA is running a number of commercials in Minnesota targeting texting and driving as a part of a national campaign. KSTP reported that these commercials tend to be graphic in nature, and that is exactly what might be needed to get people to listen.

The NHTSA campaign is called “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” Whether it was intended or not, the word pay has a dual meaning. Victims of the behavior are forced to pay with their health, but they can also make a negligent driver pay for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages caused by the negligent choice to send a text message while behind the wheel.

Source: KSTP, “National Campaign Aimed at Stopping Texting While Driving,” Megan Stewart, April 3, 2014