Drivers are more likely to stop texting and driving if public service announcements more graphically displayed that they could die if they don’t, according to research at Washington State University.
Two marketing professors studied drivers between the ages of 18 and 49 and found most had negative views about texting and driving, However one-quarter of them said they would still do it anyway and rationalized it by saying they would only look away for a second or that they still had one hand on the wheel.
The test subjects were shown five different PSAs that showed either text information about texting and driving, the image of a skull and crossbones or both. Those who were exposed to the skull and crossbones images said they were less likely to text and drive.
The findings, “suggest that the use of promotional campaigns featuring relatively strong emotional references to death/dying may be an effective persuasive technique,” the researchers said.
The study is being published in Journal of Consumer Affairs.