Texting and Driving? Any is too many, Chevrolet.
Tuesday April 14th 2015, 10:59 am
Filed under: advertising

If you’d asked me if I could be surprised by any dumb decisions made by GM in the last few years (aside from borrowing money from taxpayers), I’d have said no… ’til now.

The perils of texting while driving (TWD) are widely known. In the U.S. alone, TWD creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. 18% of all fatal crashes in 2012 were caused by driver distraction, with 421,000 people wounded for the same reason.

So I suppose Chevrolet decided that a new “feature” allowing a driver to look away from the road to send an automatic text response by tapping a screen on the dashboard (e.g. “Call you later.  I’m driving”) was a – what – better-than-doing-nothing response (?), but how could any company publicly encourage a driver to look away from the road? Isn’t zero tolerance kind of what we’re going for here? [If you cannot view the ad below, see it HERE]

A few responses from folks on Twitter:
@amandalinjuly: @chevrolet stop promoting texting and driving. Text response should not be a thing your car comes with.
@rodstickler: Shame on @chevrolet for promoting texting and driving.  There is no safe texting & driving not even w your new gadget.
@mkersich4: @chevrolet I guess you guys are promoting texting and driving with your new “features” to make it “easier” to text.  WRONG. #DontTextAndDrive

When I saw the ad the first time, I literally could not believe my eyes.  When I couldn’t find it on Google at first, I thought maybe I’d imagined it. Sadly, I did not.  Aside from being a lawsuit waiting to happen, I can only assume that this is the result of all the automakers racing to make the “smart(est) car,” with as many whiz-bang techno-widgets shoved in to each unit as possible.  This is an extremely dangerous example of technological ability trumping common sense.

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