Waze and Eminem team up to inadvertently promote distracted driving
Mapping app maker Waze has recently released a new contest aimed at Eminem fans. The rapper has a new album coming out, so Waze has teamed up with Interscope records to create an interactive contest with their app to win tickets to an Eminem show. Basically, Waze is encouraging people to use their phones while driving. Texting and driving is a huge issue in the United States and the world, and results in 11 teen deaths a day alone, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Yet somehow this passed through the marketing department at Waze with little more than a wink.
The app works like this. On the map, there will be little white or gold pins indicated with a backwards E. Simply click on one of those pins and you are directed to a URL to enter a contest. Waze attempts to direct the action to the passenger, as they instruct you to save the URL to My Offers if you are driving, and if you are the passenger to go ahead and follow the URL to an entry page. Do humans follow instructions? Of course not. While inputting is suspended when in motion, users can bypasses the passenger or driver prompt. They'll be following the URL and filling out an entry form while driving! Not to mention looking down at their phone more often than they should. So in that regard, Waze is encouraging texting while driving, which after a day of social media backlash, this campaign will most likely be quashed. And sure, looking at GPS can be just a glance, but no company should be promoting anything that takes your eyes off the road.
According to the National Safety Council, there have been 777,573 crashes this year involving drivers using cell phones and texting. Wait, that just changed to 777,576 while I composed that sentence. This is a problem, and instead of helping companies like AT&T with their "It Can Wait" campaign, Waze instead has chosen to contribute to the problem as those in Eminem's demographic are one of the largest contributors to that number above.Continued on the next page