Passenger Poll: What Would You Do?

In this lesson, students will complete a research poll to evaluate their peers' reactions to the concept of impaired driving.

Students will complete and analyze a survey about passenger responses to impaired-driving situations and will apply this knowledge to develop responses teens could use to help keep themselves safe.


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

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze and present data about their peers' reactions to impaired driving.
  • Create and present a clear, coherent message promoting passenger safety in impaired-driving situations.

Passenger Poll: What Would You Do?


Introduction (5 minutes)
The purpose of this activity is to conduct research to build an understanding of how teens would behave and react as a potential passenger in an impaired-driving situation with friends. 

Have students complete the Passenger Poll: What Would You Do? activity—each student should interview three to five classmates who are not participating in the exercise. Then have them compile and analyze the poll responses as a class.

Small Group (20–30 minutes)
In small groups, have students evaluate the answers they received from their peers in the poll. Students should consider:

  • Were there similarities in the responses for each type of situation (alcohol, drugs, fatigue)?
  • Were similar responses given across the board for all three types of situations?
  • What response seems the strongest?
  • Were any students unsure of how they would react? If so, which situations were they not sure how to address?
  • Do you feel the students polled understand the seriousness of impaired driving?
  • For which type of impaired-driving situation do you think students could use tips to help them make safe decisions as passengers?
Next, have students research additional facts and statistics about impaired driving.

Whole Group (10 minutes)
Gather the class and have students share what they've learned. Discuss how they can use the information to create messages to empower their peers to make safe decisions as passengers and prevent, avoid, or get out of impaired-driving situations with a friend. Based on their research, students should consider:
  • What's an effective response a passenger could say to a friend who's an impaired driver?
  • What strategies could the passenger use to avoid or get out of the unsafe situation?

Small Group (10–15 minutes)
In the same groups, have students list three responses a passenger could use and three actions they could take in an impaired-driving situation with a friend.

Conclusion (3 minutes)
Have one student from each group share the group's list with the class.

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