The first visual rhetoric essay image is by AD Council in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The subject is a white male on the driver’s seat of a car with his left hand on the steering wheel and the right hand holding a phone. In addition to this, there is a white text written “Don’t Let Texting Blind You” layered in front of his face. There is more text below, reading “STOP THE TEXTS. STOP THE WRECKS.” I find this graphic very effective.
The combination of elements plays a significant role in communicating the overall message; for example, the white text layered in front of the driver’s face tends to obstruct the viewer from looking into the driver’s eyes, something that is very discomforting. This communicates the same message to the viewer, illustrating what happens to their attention when looking into their phones.
I am, however, conflicted by the visual rhetoric essay image’s subject, as I think a younger female subject of whatever ethnicity would be a more compelling subject as this is the demographic that is more likely to text and drive (Choudhary and Nagendra).
The second visual rhetoric essay image is sponsored by “Stonebridge Church of God,” written in a legible white text on a blue background. The church’s program and the pastor’s name are on the bottom of the graphic. The sign’s message is written in black text on a white background “HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS TEXT WHILE DRIVING IF YOU WANT TO MEET HIM.” The graphic designer used satirical humor with zeal, as expected in religious communities, and would be effective in an area where the average speed is very low.
However, it would be ineffective on a busy road, as it would take time for one to process the message of the sign. The sign might even lead to road accidents on a busy street, as the road users use a lot of their attention to decipher the message. Furthermore, urging drivers to honk aimlessly on the road is a threat to all road users’ safety. Therefore, this sign would be an ineffective graphic in anti-texting and driving campaigns.
Choudhary, Pushpa, and Nagendra R. Velaga. “A comparative analysis of risk associated with eating, drinking and texting during driving at unsignalised intersections.” Transportation research part F: traffic psychology and behaviour 63 (2019): 295-308.