The campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving started a few years ago. We were just getting used to texting, its convenience and the playfulness that came with it. Any other form of personal communication out there could not match its simple functionality, economy and privacy. Texting was here to stay.
After early efforts to stop texting while driving were not successful, it quickly became evident that it was bound to be an on-going issue for years to come.
Many joined the cause along the way. Big and small companies launched their own campaigns, promoting the anti driving-texting message with a variety of catch phrases.
It was all about raising awareness...
Sadly, being aware of the rules does not mean that we are following them. The numbers keep piling up, and the reality is that we are still far away from eradicating this dangerous and border-line criminal habit from our roadways.
Texting while driving is now illegal in most states, but so far, it hasn't stopped texting from being a constant threat to our safety on the roads. Last year alone, 28% of all car accidents (that's 1.1 million) were caused by texting and driving. Summing up to 448,000 injuries and 5,474 deaths and over $40 billion in damages.
So what can we do?
Well, until we find a real solution to the problem, the only thing that we can do is keep getting out the message.
Lets say it loud and clear. Let your love ones know that not getting caught by the police while texting and driving is not "getting away with it". Let your friends and co-workers know that being able to keep living your life was the real "getting away with it". Let them know that it's not something to be proud of and that it could all change in a second next time you get in a car and start texting while driving.
Basically, let them know how wrong it is!
The good news is that many excellent strategies are already out there for us to use, with different approaches and levels. There is no wrong or right when it comes to raising awareness and solidifying a message like this one. A simple action like sharing a piece of content on social media or giving away promotional products with a strong anti-driving-texting message can go a long way.
Let's take a look at the different campaigns that are out there...
Preventive Messages Campaigns
The idea behind this approach is to get the word out, to show concern and raise awareness by repetition, with the understanding that impressions will have an impact and that having these constant reminders around us will make us put aside the phone when we get behind the wheel.
Usually delivered in the form of giveaways via stickers, bracelets, thumb bands, insurance ID holders, etc.
Informative stat-based campaigns
Tailor-made to highlight the terrible consequences that texting while driving could potentially bring to you or your loves ones.
This is an area where infographics play an impressive role. Their ability to deliver a large amount of information and stats in an entertaining and visual way makes them ideal for social media sharing, giving them the potential to reach thousands, even millions more people at little or no-cost at all.
Audiovisual campaigns allow us to deliver messages in a way that neither infographics nor printed products can. They have the ability of developing a story in a few seconds, establishing a quick connection with the viewer, leading to a stronger impact and reaction towards the message.
Here are two of the latest videos that have been released to support the fight against texting and driving. You'll see how the reality of the events can make you feel more connected to the issue and aware of how easily something bad could happen to you, even if you are not the one being distracted.
Anti-texting-driving Apps for smartphones have been created and released in the last few years as well. Their main focus is to combat the desire to text while driving. From blocking texts completely to sending auto-reply texts in your place, some apps will reward you for simply driving well and following road rules.
You can find more info about apps here
As you can see, the war against texting while driving didn’t just begin, but it's far from being over. It's up to all of us to decide the outcome and to make our roads safer again. It's our responsibility to keep raising awareness, to keep telling our friends, our families, our customers and everybody else of the devastating toll that distracted driving takes. We have to keep saying stop texting and driving, because it simply can't be said enough..