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Drinking and driving is a very important social issue. The most obvious reason drinking and driving is such a frequent topic is because it causes death. “An estimated 513,000 people are injured in alcohol-related crashes each year, an average of 59 people per hour or approximately one person every minute” (NHTSA, 2002). Driving drunk puts not only the driver in danger but also everybody else in the car and everybody on the road at the same time. A drunk driver can easily get into oncoming traffic and kill many people because they hit a car full of explosives for example.
Awareness needs to be spread about drunk driving as much as possible. “Of the general driving age public, 98 percent see drinking and driving as a threat to their personal safety, and 86 percent feel it is very important to do something to reduce the problem” (Gallup Organization, 2000). The hard part is deciding how to reduce the problem effectively.
The penalty for drunk driving is obviously not harsh enough; large fines and license suspensions are not enough motivation.
Jail time only comes for repeat offenders, but by that time they may have already caused harm or injury, or crashed into a truck. Drinking and driving is a heinous crime that can be prevented in many ways. One method, for instance, is to make public the effects, through the media. Media is the means of mass communication, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, or television. By communicating this message of death due to consumption of alcohol the public will be knowledgeable, which is the ultimate goal.
Today, society is constantly bombarded with the media on a daily basis. As a result, we, as the public, are constantly vulnerable to marketers’ messages. To take advantage of this situation, the media should be used to help society learn more about drinking and driving. One message it has spread across the country is, “A simple piece of metal and plastic can hold the key to your life. Make sure it doesn’t open the door to tragedy. If you drink – then you don’t drive.” This tells us that drinking and driving is an open invitation to death. Society in general can relate to this type of message. “The highest prevalence of both binge and heavy drinking in 2000 was for young adults aged 18 to 25, with the peak rate occurring at age 21” (SAMHSA, 2000). Add or marketing agencies could use statistics like these to make specific awareness campaigns that would appeal to the target market.
They could make PSAs or ads that would appeal to people between 18 and 25; these ads would presumably be more effective at spreading awareness and preventing drunk driving. “Alcohol is closely linked with violence. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, many more violent crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol than all other drugs” (Drug Strategies, 1999).Drinking and driving is a very serious issue that must be addressed, and the only way of doing so is advertising the consequences through the mass media. The message is simple and clear; don’t Drink and Drive. Drunk driving was defined as a problem located within individuals. Drunk driving is illegal in every state. And not only, you put yourself in risk of an accident but everybody with you and in the road.
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