The two-minute film, Insoutenable (Unbearable), was first released online in 2010 as a longer five-minute version where it has received over 3 million views.
The film shows the after-effects of a road accident involving a group of young people who have been drinking heavily. Graphic details of the crash, the injuries and the rescue attempts by security services are shown. A parent is also shown being informed by the police of the death of her child.
The film was made using genuine emergency service workers as well as actors and was the most-viewed promotional film on YouTube in 2010. It also won a Lion d’Or award at the Cannes advertising festival.
The shortened film will be shown on eight of the major TV channels, including TF1, France 2 and France 3, in prime time on Thursday evening, between 8pm and 10pm.
National road-safety agency Securité Routière said in a statement that the film has had some of its most graphic scenes cut as it will be airing at a time that young people could be watching.
Drink-related accidents are the main cause of death among 17 to 25-year-olds in France.
Tougher controls on road safety and drink driving have successfully reduced the French road death rate to around the European average. A European Commission report in 2010 showed the number of fatalities on French roads fell by 48 percent between 2001 and 2009.
Overall, there were 67 deaths per million inhabitants on the country’s roads in 2009, compared to an EU average of 69. The continent’s safest roads are the UK (38 deaths per million inhabitants), Sweden (39) and the Netherlands (39) while the most dangerous are Romania (130) and Poland (120).