Preview the Presentation

Our presentation was scientifically designed to engage students without creating defensiveness or resistance. Our collaboration with psychologists and traffic safety, behavior change and teen messaging experts resulted in a highly interactive and fun presentation that is changing teens’ attitudes and behaviors about distracted driving. The complete presentation takes 55-60 minutes, but can be modified for time periods from 35 to 70 minutes and can be given in classrooms or assemblies. It has 50 slides and 5 thought-provoking videos. Our presentation is evaluated regularly to gauge its effectiveness and we have updated the presentation on four separate occasions. Information about Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s assistance in developing and evaluating the presentation is available upon request.

Student Presentation Preview

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Texting, making cellphone calls, eating, putting on make up, changing music, reaching for objects…the list of activities that put all of us, not just teens, at risk, is endless.

Teaching teens about the 3 types of distractions provides a context for subsequent discussions, videos and interactive exercises.

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Unfortunately many of us, teens and adults, drive distracted. Often we rationalize our risk-taking and some of the excuses we give include “I am an experienced driver and have not been in an accident, “it’s only for a few seconds,” “everyone else does it,” and “nothing bad will happen.”

The following statistics should make each of us think about where we need to make changes to the way we drive.


Joel Feldman, founder of holds a photo of his daughter Casey, who was killed by a distracted driver, and tells students that he drove distracted—until his daughter’s death changed the way he drove. Adults admitting mistakes and committing to change is a powerful message for teens.


Role play scenarios, like the one depicted below, are fun for the teens, and also provide an opportunity to teach teens how to speak up for their safety when driven by any distracted driver, friends and even their parents. We explore teen driving behaviors and because distracted driving is not limited to teens, we also explore adult driving behaviors.


Exploring the concept of role models is part of the design of the program to have teens critically examine their driving attitudes and behaviors, as well as those of their parents, friends and other adults. This process facilitates development of safe driving rules for the entire family. Parents are important role models for their teens but teens are surprised to learn that they can be role models for their parents, and help mom and dad be safer drivers. Teens are also role models for their younger brothers and sisters.


Our PSA-“Just a few seconds…” tells the story of a 17-year-old who killed a man when she took her eyes off the road for just a few seconds to program her GPS . Texting and cell phone use is involved in less than 40% of distracted driving crashes; so there are many other types of dangerous driving distractions, like programming a GPS, eating, or applying make up. We explore with teens how distracted driving is ultimately a choice.  A choice that could have life-long consequences. We stress that this is a terribly sad story, but that all the sad stories are preventable, empowering teens to consider their driving attitudes and behaviors and those of friends and family.

Just because its not illegal doesn’t mean its safe

bridgestone videoTexting and in some cases cell phone use by younger drivers are illegal in many states. But there are many types of distracted driving that are not illegal. This humorous video reinforces the concept that distracted driving is much more than just cell phone use

We all think that we can multi-task, but the vast majority of us cannot-our brains are simply not “wired” to do so. A quick lesson in brain function, followed by some interactive exercises drives home that point for teens

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Teens have fun with our interactive exercises and learn that even a simple task, like writing numbers backwards, is made much more difficult when having a cell phone conversation.


When asked if they would consider driving at or above the adult legal limit of .08 for blood alcohol, all teens say they would not. But when asked if they would consider texting or talking on the cell phone while driving, many honestly say they would. Studies indicating that the risk of an accident is similar for talking on a cell phone and driving at the .08 limit are eye-opening for many teens.


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Teens need to feel that their concerns about others’ driving behaviors are justified and that they have the right to insist that their drivers drive safely. Teens learn to engage in respectful and constructive conversation that will indicate their concern for their driver and promote safer driving attitudes and behaviors.

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All of the slides, discussion points, videos and exercises are pulled together to engage the teens in discussion concerning simple and effective steps that can be taken to protect them, their friends and family. Their independence and desire to be independent is not only recognized, but utilized in collaboratively working toward setting rules for safe driving for their entire family.






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No one likes to be told what to do or not do. We empower teens to speak with mom and dad, and others to decide what they “can do” to drive safer. Coming to their own decisions and choices after learning about facts and consequences of distracted driving makes it more likely that new choices will be long-lasting.