New Study: Ninety Percent of Teens Drive While Distracted


The Story

A survey published this week by AAA and Seventeen magazine reported that teenagers understand the dangers of distractions while driving, but they multitask anyway.  Read the full story here.

Teens texting while driving

Discussion Starters

  • In Chapter 1, we talked about distractions as a barrier to communication. Which other communication barriers could affect driving ability?
  • What data presented in the article would most influence you to stop texting while driving? Why do you find this statistic most persuasive?

Assignment Ideas

  • Convert the following paragraph from the article into one or more charts.  How can you turn the numbers into graphs that are easier to read? 
    "Aware of the dangers, 73 percent of teens admit they have adjusted their radio/CD/MP3 player, 61 percent have eaten food, and 60 percent said they've talked on a cell phone while driving. Teen drivers justified their actions and said they think it's okay to engage in these distractions because: 41 percent think their action will only take a split second; 35 percent don't think they'll get hurt; 34 percent said they're used to multitasking; and 32 percent don't think anything bad will happen to them." 
  • Write an email to convince a teenager you know well-your little brother or sister or another relative-not to drive while texting.  Knowing this teen, which data from the survey would most likely encourage him or her to stop driving while texting?  See more data here.  What other principles of persuasion (from Chapter 7) will you use in your message?
  • Write a report to your local PTA or PTO that includes the survey data.  The purpose of your report is to encourage parents and teachers to create a new promotional campaign against driving while distracted.