Exploring the Effectiveness of Distracted Driving PSA (Public Service Announcement)


The issue of “distracted driving” has been a popular topic in research and the subject of numerous campaigns and laws. Fear appeals have commonly been utilized to prevent people, adolescents mainly, from engaging in such behavior. This paper examines the impact that a public service announcement featuring a fear appeal to discourage distracted driving has on the perceptions and intentions of a sample (N = 102) of Texas State University students. The students viewed a thirtysecond PSA before completing a self-report questionnaire. Responses were analyzed to gauge the effectiveness of the PSA and look for the presence of gender differences and the third-person effect within the sample. This study focused specifically on the distracted behavior of text messaging while driving. Overall, students expressed the opinion that the PSA was believable and somewhat useful for preventing texting while driving. In line with past literature, males and females in this sample responded differently to the message, with females being more responsive. Contrary to past research, this study did not find support for the third-person effect.

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Bummara, V. and Choi, J. (2015) Exploring the Effectiveness of Distracted Driving PSA (Public Service Announcement). Advances in Journalism and Communication, 3, 71-78. doi: 10.4236/ajc.2015.34008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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