Texting and driving is one of the most prevalent causes of fatal car crashes for teens in the U.S., with more than half of the teens polled in a recent safe driving survey admitting to using their phone while operating their vehicles.

Video: Thumb Wars PSA - Avan Jogia

Studies show that scare tactics are not always effective and can often backfire .


DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change, and Sprint are taking a unique approach to prevent young people from texting and driving through a campaign called Thumb Wars.

Now in its fourth year, Thumb Wars encourages young people to use the power of their thumbs in a fun and engaging way to prevent their friends from texting and driving. The campaign kicks off today and will run through August 14.

How it works:
• Young people sign up here and receive two pairs of yellow anti-texting thumb socks.
• Young people pick a friend or loved one they know who texts and drives and share the socks with them in a surprising way.
• They snap a pic of them and the socks and send it back to DoSomething.org.

Last year, over 279,000 young people participated in the campaign. In 2012, 62 percent of polled sock recipients reported that the person they shared them with changed their driving habits as a result.

Star of ABC Family’s Twisted, Avan Jogia recorded a public service announcement for the campaign as Knitty By Nature, a “super-ish” hero that can knit very small objects very rapidly. It’s not a great power for fighting crime, but perfect for knitting Thumb Socks to prevent young people from texting and driving.

“We’ve seen a great response from young people who have participated in Thumb Wars in the past three years,” said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at DoSomething.org. “Young people have incorporated Thumb Socks into funny anti-texting and videos and have staged awesome photos to spread the message. The creativity is amazing and gets young people to talk about the issue in a fun and relatable way.”

“Sprint is proud to be a partner and sponsor of the DoSomething.org Thumb Wars campaign for a fourth year,” said Ralph Reid, vice president for corporate social responsibility at Sprint. “This extraordinary program has been a great asset in raising awareness about texting while driving among teens, their family and friends. We look forward to positively impacting more wireless users with this important message.”

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