Summer is the most dangerous time of the year for teen drivers and passengers, with seven of the top 10 most dangerous days of the year occurring between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

Video: Olivia Munn - Thumb Wars PSA

DoSomething.org, Sprint, and Toyota have joined forces to fight distracted driving this summer through a unique campaign, returning for its third year: Thumb Wars.

Currently, many campaigns on texting and driving rely heavily on traffic accident statistics and data to get teens to change their behavior. DoSomething.org, Sprint and Toyota are taking a different approach with Thumb Wars – making it fun for teens to end texting and driving.

How it works: teens sign up at www.dosomething.org/thumbwars and receive two pairs of yellow anti-texting thumb socks. Teens pick a friend or loved one they know who texts and drives and share the socks with them in a surprising way. They can hide them in their glove compartment, or put them on their cat. (Yes, that has happened). They snap a pic of them and the socks, and send it back to DoSomething.org. Teens can also share important texting-and-driving stats (available on the campaign microsite) on Thumb Wars to educate their friends.

If it sounds silly, it is – and silly works. Last Year, Thumb Wars engaged over 230,000 young people in anti-texting and driving actions. In a post-campaign survey, teens who received thumb socks said they were less likely to text and drive than those who didn’t and more likely to speak out on texting and driving. In addition, 62 percent of sock recipients reported that the person they shared them with changed their driving habits as a result.

“We see a deep amount of engagement from teens on this campaign,” says David DeLuca, Head of Campaigns at DoSomething.org. “They take the time to stage creative and fun anti-texting and driving scenes with their friends and the thumb socks. We get amazing and hilarious photos. This campaign is about friends having fun together while sharing an important message.”

Star of HBO’s The Newsroom, Olivia Munn, lends her talents for the Thumb Wars PSA this year, making the issue accessible and relatable for teens. Other celebrity supporters include funnymen Joel McHale and Ken Jeong, who started a thumb war in honor of 2010’s inaugural campaign, and Glee heartthrob Harry Shum Jr. who supported the campaign in 2012 with his good looks and dance moves.

Sprint and Toyota have returned in 2013 as vital partners for the third year of the campaign.

“As a longstanding advocate of keeping wireless consumers focused on driving, Sprint is proud to continue working with DoSomething.org on this unique safe driving campaign,” said Debby Ballard, Director of Community Affairs for Sprint. “Thumb Wars helps us reach the teen wireless audience in a fun and effective way.”

“At Toyota, we are deeply committed to helping teen drivers stay safe,” said Latondra Newton, Toyota group vice president of philanthropy and chief diversity officer. “We are very excited to partner with DoSomething.org on this year’s Thumb Wars to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving with teens in a memorable and engaging way.”

Visit www.dosomething.org/thumbwars to learn more about the campaign.

Want to see photos of teens rocking their socks (say yes!)? Check out the Thumb Wars photo gallery.

Source: PR Newswire

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