Texting while driving is a fast-growing concern across the globe. Parents are worried about their teenage drivers texting, but seasoned drivers are also bringing a new level of risk to the streets. As a result, we’re seeing more safety messages targeting drivers, such as efforts we’ve spotlighted from Subaru and Oprah. While this type of work tends to take an earnest tone, that’s not the only route to go, as two recent PSAs demonstrate.
A recent message from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promoting “Stop the Texts” day is lighthearted, showing text bubbles popping up during inopportune and inappropriate moments. The visual device does a nice job of illustrating how inappropriate texting while driving is without taking viewers into a shock-centric, fear-based place. The tone of an anti-texting message from Belgium is more blatantly humorous, promoting responsibility among young drivers by actually getting them to text via a Candid Camera-type setup. During a driving test, the administrator tells drivers they will need to show an ability to text as they drive, and we see them struggling to do so safely (thankfully, away from regular traffic).
While serious issues often call for serious messaging, humor often does a better job with the heavy lifting when targeting a younger, less receptive audience.