Distracted Driving in Your School

In this lesson, students will complete a short whole-group research poll and use the results to gain an understanding of the needs in terms of behavior change and awareness in their classroom or community.

Students will complete and analyze a survey about distracted driving behaviors and will apply this knowledge to raise awareness about the issue.


  • Conduct short research
  • Participate in collaborative discussions
  • Analytical thinking
  • Write informative/explanatory text

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze and present data about distracted driving in their classroom or community.
  • Create and present a clear, coherent message advocating against distracted driving that meets specific needs in their classroom or community.

Distracted Driving Poll [download PDF]

Introduction (7 minutes)
Introduce students to the idea of a PSA. The first goal of a PSA is to reach a specific group with a message that will change its behavior. The purpose of this activity is to identify the specific behaviors that we need to target.

Have students complete the Distracted Driving Poll. Then have them compile and analyze the results as a class.

Small Group (15-20 minutes)
In small groups, students use Internet resources to find statistics about distracted driving among teens and adults. Then they create a page of graphs, charts, talking points, etc. to highlight trends, facts, and data from their poll and general statistics.

Whole Group (5 minutes)
What are the needs in your class or school when it comes to distracted driving awareness? How do those needs align or compare with the national statistics? Students share what they've learned and discuss how they can use their class information to target their awareness messaging.

Small Group (10-15 minutes)
In the same groups, students analyze the research they found and create a one-sentence message that encapsulates their findings and would reach their community specifically.

Conclusion (3 minutes)
One student from each group shares its message with the class.

Extension Activities

  • Have students pass out and analyze the results of the distracted driving poll to other students around school or among adults and teens in their community and compile the results. What are the needs in your school? What are the needs in the community? How does age impact driving habits?
  • Assign students a one-minute reflection paper about this activity. What surprised them? What did they learn about their peers? What did they learn about themselves? 
Resources for Research and Statistics on Road Safety:
The National Road Safety Foundation
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The U.S. Department of Transportation website on distracted driving
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