Public Service Announcement on distracted driving

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<p style=”text-align:justify;text-indent:0in; line-height:200%”>The injuries and accidents resulting from distracted driving have significantly increased, and the issue has become a serious concern for the general public. The statistics on distracted driving-related accidents are quite shocking, and it is necessary for each individual to understand what distracted driving entails. First, distracted driving refers to any form of activity that shifts the activity if the driver from the primary &nbsp;task of driving the automobile and this can include but not limited to texting, driving, talking to passengers, playing music or even reading among other activities (Bruner 11). It is clear that distracted driving is a menace that is causing a lot of accidents and the number of accidents caused by distraction driving is now twice the number previously caused by drunk driving. As a result, the public needs to be informed about distracted driving in order to create awareness just like in the selected example of the advertisement by Safe Roads Alliance. Public Service advertisements have become an important communication tool for creating awareness on the effects of distracted driving. The paper seeks to highlight the importance of such public service advertisements or announcements as broadcasted safe Roads Alliance.</p>
<p align=”center” style=”text-align:center;text-indent: 0in;line-height:200%”><b>Distracted driving and PSA&rsquo;s</b></p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>Distracted driving is a serious social problem that affects the majority of the drivers, and it is estimated that every 1 in 10 drivers is distracted by either cell phones or other forms of distraction. Although phones are not the major cause of distraction, there are other forms of distractions that can be equally dangerous for the driver and the passengers. Different mechanisms have been used in trying to prevent the vice of distracted driving, and one of the common prevention programs is the use of PSA&rsquo;s (Cramer S 30). The paper looks at the use of PSA&rsquo;s in communicating the dangers of distracted driving and developing ways to discourage drivers from distracted driving as this can bring a lot of benefits to the community. It is important to educate road users on the dangers of distracted driving and the PSA&rsquo;s form a good tool for educating drivers on road safety.&nbsp; So in an effort to discourage the vice Safe Roads Alliance did a public service announcement showing different forms of distraction and the best approach to discourage such practices.</p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>&nbsp;The PSA were a highlighted in the selected advertisement by Safe Roads Alliance need to be pervasive and specialized in its communication strategy. The advertisement focuses on initiating action from the individuals so as to solve or discourage a public service problem. In the Clip by Safe Roads Alliance (SRA) the clip shows a taxis driver participating in all forms of distraction and the customers use different approaches in discouraging the behavior. First, the driver reaches for a Can of soda while driving and the customers do not discourage him. In the second episode, the driver is drinking alcohol while driving and the customers try to discourage him from the practice (Bunmara and Choi 74).&nbsp; The third episode shows the driver talking to his passengers while driving something that is distrustful. Finally, he takes a phone and starts chatting, with his phone and some passengers approve his behavior while others are offended and they decide not to pay him for his misbehavior. The objective of this PSA is to create awareness that distracted driving kills more people than drinking and driving but more people seem to encourage it.&nbsp; For example, in last year alone about 20 percent of the reported accidents that occurred on the roads occurred as a result of distracted driving. The vice affects many young drivers who like using the phone while driving.&nbsp; As a result, Such PSA&rsquo;s are developed to create awareness and assist address the menace of distracted driving.</p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>In most cases PCAs are sponsored advertisements that are generated by the government and other bodies or departments with the objective of promoting a specific activity that is considered desirable. For example, the advert by SRA aims at promoting safe driving while discouraging distracted driving. Unlike the common adverts targeted at the marketing of products, the objective of PSA&rsquo;s is to educate people and create awareness. &nbsp;To pass the message PSA&rsquo;s used shocking messages and statistics so as to instill fear, unlike adverts that are created to promote the sales of a product or service (Santa and Cochran 4). The tactic of using scary messages rhymes well with the objective of the messages of creating fear. For example, in the selected advert by PSA the editors have taken keen concern in highlighting the effect of distracted driving for example, in his attempt to use the phone the driver knocks down a cyclist.&nbsp; The message from the PSA is to instill fear that can discourage unhealthy social behaviors.&nbsp; The information that is presented in the advert provides public with the necessary information that they need in decision making with to engage in the highlighted behavior or refrain from the behavior.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:0in;line-height:200%”><b>Getting serious about distracted driving Campaign by Safety Roads Alliance (SRA)</b></p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>The department of transportation has identified drunk driving as one of the vices that have contributed to many accidents. However, today the menace of distracted driving is more service, and this has prompted some states to prohibit the use of the mobile phone when driving. Given the pervasive nature of the handheld gadgets and the advancement of the society, it is evident that using cell phones while driving should be condemned with the same gravity that drinking while driving is being condemned. Cell phone use is even riskier and different traffic safety laws have focused on tackling distracted driving from every angle, first, by launching campaigns, enacting laws and collaborating with stakeholders in creating awareness about &nbsp;the dangers of distracted driving. &nbsp;Different terminologies have been used to describe the practices, but the underlying theme of the practices is to persuade the involved drivers and discourage them from this risky activity.</p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>The concept used by SRA in its strategy is the social marketing approach, and the overall objective of the PSA&rsquo;s approach is to motivate and encourage behavior change.&nbsp; For example, in social marketing, the advertisements are structured in a way that they promote and encourage the normal real life practices just like in the movie. For example, the objective of social marketing is to initiate the individual and the public to behave in the socially accepted way (Santa and Cochran 77). The advertisement by SRA falls under this category because it attempts to influence the viewers to abandon their negative behaviors and consider what others might like. For example, it the advertisement the woman passenger tells the driver that if he does not value his life, then she values hers.&nbsp; The simple meaning of this is that the driver should consider the interests and preferences of the others. The social marketing campaigns should focus on promoting safe driving that is free of distractions.</p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>The common feature of PSA messages is their use of fear that is a common strategy that focuses on appealing to fear. The messages use fear in the sense that they tend to arouse anxiety and fear through their cautionary appeal (Cramer S 10). Most adverts that use fear focus on influencing the viewers to see the negative impacts of their illegal behavior or actions. For example, in the selected PSA by Safe Roads Alliance the consequence of distracted driving causes the cyclist to die. The common idea behind the strategic application of fear is that fear initiates anxiety and tension that prompts the users to looks for means to reducing the tension, and the best approach to reducing the tension is by following the road rules. The effectiveness of such fear-based advertisements has been ascertained in different advertisements that have shown that fear based PSA&rsquo;s were effective in discouraging many youth drivers from distractive driving behaviors (Bunmara and Choi 15). The advert by SRA showing the reckless driver suing his phone while driving and later slamming on to a cyclist has an effect on the driving tendencies of&nbsp; teenagers; The video has about 43, 232 and still counting and the comments on the video are interesting. Clearly, it takes very limited time for something has to happen . Precisely it only takes just 3-5 seconds of lack of concentration when driving for one to crash. The small direction by the motorist causes the car to knock down a cyclist; an avoidable situation had the driver been more careful.</p>
<p align=”center” style=”text-align:center;text-indent: 0in;line-height:200%”><b>Creating effective PSA Campaigns</b></p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>Creating PSA campaign is a process that involves careful planning and execution. First, it is important to conduct research to identify the main problem affecting the people by gathering different statistics on the phenomenon.&nbsp; After conducting the research just like any other market advertisement, it is important to develop the message based on the target audience. The campaign needs to focus on addressing the problem of the audience, for example; then the message needs to highlight all the sources of distraction and the outcomes of distraction (Bruner 8). Conducting research for the campaign means doing analysis on the target group and earning what is likely to work with the selected group. After determining the message and the target audience then it is important to hire the best talent to design the PSA. The process of production needs to focus beyond the short term TV campaign, but it should capture the entire medium accessible by the target audience. If possible, it is advisable to adopt different media since the audience has access to different forms of media and this can reach a wider audience.</p>
<p align=”center” style=”text-align:center;text-indent: 0in;line-height:200%”><b>Effectiveness of use of PSA in road Safety</b></p>
<p style=”line-height:200%”>The social marketing PSA&rsquo;s are popularly being used in road safety advertising, and there are questions in regards to the effectiveness of their use. Research findings indicate different levels of efficiency depending on the message conveyed and the manner with which the message was delivered. For example, if the intention of the message it to initiate fear and the broadcast initiates the fear for the drivers to act in the socially acceptable way then the method is termed as effective (Cramer S 18). Different researchers have supported the fact that instilling fear has been successful in discouraging distractions during driving. However, the responses of people to fear are different in the sense that some people do not really care about their lives. It is important to note that the motorist&rsquo;s response to fear is not equal and as a result, different people will react differently to the advertisement producing different undesired results.&nbsp; For example, if the person becomes fearful of the outcome of a distraction then the pending dangers can have an effect on the individual (Bunmara and Choi 76). On the other hand, if the target audience perceives the advert as fearful or dangerous then the intended message might not be received.&nbsp; The weakness with PSA&rsquo;s is that they have an effect on the Short run but their impact diminishes in the long run, and hence it is difficult to achieve the desired behavior change. Also, there are concerns about the ethics of using fearful messages of statistics in PSA&#39;s&nbsp; as the fear-based approach used likely to cause other complications on the side of drivers like causing anxiety and depression.</p>
<p align=”center” style=”text-align:center;text-indent: 0in;line-height:200%”><b>Conclusion</b></p>
<p style=”text-indent:0in;line-height:200%”>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are numerous advantages of using PSA&rsquo;s in educating people on road safety. The PSA&rsquo;s are particularly important in educating the people on the risks of distraction in driving since it leads to numerous negative impacts. The PSA&rsquo;s need to use a more persuasive language as observed and the public health campaigns need to initiate the belief in people that they need to take charge of their behavior and habits when on the roads. The PSA&rsquo;s offers hope in dealing with distraction driving and what is required is a combination of educational and effective enforcement of the policies. It is clear that PSA&rsquo;s like traditional product advertisement has the ability to change the consumer&rsquo;s behavior and culture thus their ability to reduce distraction-related accidents.</p>

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