NEW YORK, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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. 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.
We love teens. They are creative, active, wired…and frustrated that our world is so messed up. DoSomething.org harnesses that awesome energy and unleashes it on causes teens care about. Almost every week, we launch a new national campaign. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and doesn't require money, an adult, or a car. With a goal of 5 million active members by 2015, DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change. Join us at www.DoSomething.org.
About Sprint Nextel:
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 55 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. To date, Toyota has contributed nearly 700 million to philanthropic programs in the United States.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit Toyota.com/philanthropy.
 "AAA Analysis Finds Seven of Top 10 Deadliest Days for Teens Occur During Summer Months," AAA, 2011, http://newsroom.aaa.com/2011/06/2011-teen-deadliest-days/.
 "Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety," CDC, 2010, http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html.