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Volkswagen PSA Reminds Us to Keep Our Eyes on the Road

Volkswagen's interactive PSA aims to prevent texting while driving

It happens nearly every day: We're on the road, racing to work or shuttling the kids off to school or sneaking in a few quick errands, when suddenly, our phone buzzes and lights up — we have a text.

And despite the fact that we know it's probably nothing urgent and that whatever it is can most certainly wait until we're parked, we just can't resist taking a peek at it.

There are those of us who can simply glance down, notice the text and wait until later to respond. But as the stats show, there are far too many of us who simply can't. It's no wonder then that distracted driving — usually due to texting — kills 9 people and injures over 1,000 every single day. A recent study even found it to be the leading cause of death among teen drivers. In fact, it's such a widespread problem, that companies have created apps specifically designed to prevent us from touching our phones while behind the wheel. (Check out Mashable's list of the top five.)

This was the inspiration behind Volkswagen's latest project, which is one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks kind of ads. In it, unsuspecting moviegoers file into a packed Hong Kong theater, as the opening trailers begin to run. Only the first "trailer" that begins to show on the screen is slightly different than most. It shows a first-person perspective of driver behind the wheel. The car is zipping down a tree-lined roadway, without a car in sight. As the music blares from the radio, the driver's fingers tap the wheel to the beat.

But what theatergoers don't know is that at this very moment, someone is sitting with their laptop in a nearby room. At lightning-fast speeds, the person gathers the cell phone numbers of nearly every person in the audience and, at one precise moment, they fire off a text to each one.

What happens next will have you thinking twice before you pick up your phone while driving.

Though Volkswagen's PSA is a much more tame version of the "don't text and drive" campaign launched by so many outlets over the years, we couldn't help but be reminded of another shocking ad we saw back in 2009. In it, three girls ride giddily down a highway, before the driver sends a text that changes their lives forever.

It is not for the weak-stomached, so beware — it's pretty graphic.

Photo via YouTube

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