The effects of graphic advertisements on texting and driving
This study examined the effects of fear appeals on texting and driving frequency from the perspective of terror management theory. Undergraduate students (N=17) participated in a driving simulation program while texting in front of a graphic, death-related advertisement versus a neutral one. It was hypothesized that the drivers would be more inclined to text and drive, because of the importance of close relationships when mortality concerns are salient. In this study, it was found that drivers in the death condition had significantly more collisions, exceeded the speed limit more, spent more time speeding, travelled a greater distance speeding, spent more time out of their lane, drove a greater distance out of their lane, swerved over the center line, failed to use their turning signal more, and rushed through the course faster. The current results call into question the efficacy of fear appeals in advertising campaigns.