Do you own a cellphone that you use on a daily basis? If yes, then think about where and when you make use of it. At work? At home? While cooking? Any free time that you can get your hands on your phone? What about when you’re DRIVING? Because cell phones have become such a necessity in the world that we live in, people cannot go for long periods of time without turning to them to text, check Facebook or make a call. This impairs our judgment and we don’t always pay attention to the danger we put ourselves in when using cell phones.
When the driver takes his/her eyes off the road to complete another task, almost all of the focus needed for safety is compromised. This is even more evident when he/she decides to read a text message and respond to it. This leads to a lack of visual focus on the road, one or both hands off the wheel and the mind thinking about the conversation on the phone instead of the surroundings of the vehicle: “For example, studies using a naturalistic methodology suggested that relative to nondistracted drivers, those drivers who text are 23 times as likely to crash,” (Wilson, Stimpson). All of these factors add up to the formula of danger and disaster, which can lead to extremely brutal and even fatal accidents.
Different people and organizations have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. A great example of this is the At&t 90 second documentary. It tells three different stories in which three different people were killed because of texting and driving. The stories were told by the family members of those who were killed. Two of the tragedies included the drivers who were texting and driving to be killed. A third included a car hitting a man on a bicycle because the driver was texting while driving (“Texting While Driving 90 Sec Documentary Preview”). These are personal stories being told by real people who have been affected by the negligent acts of the drivers behind the wheel. They hold a lot of power in them because it makes the audience think about their own lives and how they would feel if they were put in the same situation.
The “No Texting While Driving” campaign is necessary because there are constantly headlines in the news about the fatalities due to texting while driving. The communicators are the families of those who have suffered and experienced the pain caused by the minor act. Their loved ones faced untimely deaths, which could have been avoided. They are trying to tell the rest of the world that no text message is worth dying over. They have been through the worst kind of pain and there is no coming back from it. They will always feel that emptiness inside of them. The audience is anyone and everyone that owns a cellphone and drives a vehicle. Everyone at one point has sent a text message while driving. People think that just because they were successful once, that they can do it again and not worry about losing focus while driving. This is not the case. It is also why we need to continue sending these messages to everyone to avoid such accidents.
Cellphone companies have made a point to make commercials for the television to promote safe driving habits. The commercials appeal to the pathos and make the audience rethink their life and what is really important. We feel sympathy for those who have suffered and perhaps try to change our habits to avoid a similar fate. The cellphone companies also appeal to ethos. This is because they are credible sources. They are selling products that are being used by millions of people around the world. Carriers such as At&t, Verizon, and Sprint are well known, well established and trusted throughout the world. People rely on them and therefore those companies can have a major impact on changing the way people behave behind the wheel.
Furthermore, on a smaller scale, schools and colleges have started to extend the campaign towards their students. Student leaders hang posters throughout the campuses and keep coming up with new ideas to promote safe driving. One of the ideas is the thumb bands that say “TXTING KILLS.” This is extremely clever because people buy the bands and wear them on their thumbs so when they are driving and decide to pick up their phone to text, they will see the message on the band and decide against it.
All these strategies are bringing all of us one step closer to making the world a safer place for all of us. Individual people, families, students and major companies can all make a difference. Whether it is on a minor scale or a major scale, every little bit helps. Every life saved is a reason to celebrate. Don’t text and drive. Stay alive.