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Distracted Driving Lesson Plan (Grades 11 & 12)

Note: Contact us by e-mail to receive the Lesson Plan PDF version. Requests will be answered between 7:00am and 3:00pm, Monday to Friday.


  • To discuss what distracted driving is.
  • To discuss the social and legal consequences of distracted driving.
  • To identify ways to avoid distractions while driving.
  • To make a commitment not to drive distracted.


Reference documents are found at the end of this lesson plan:


Other Material:

  • Smart Board
  • Computer and projector to display video
  • Blank paper
  • Chart paper


  • Icebreaker
  • Introduction: 5 minutes
  • Activity #1: Defining Distracted Driving: 10 minutes
  • Activity #2: Myths vs. Facts of Distracted Driving: 15 minutes
  • Activity #3: Outcomes: 10 minutes
  • Activity #4: Affected Lives: 15 minutes
  • Conclusion: 5 minutes

Total: 60 minutes

Presenter Preparation:

  • Review the Distracted Driving section of the Centre for Youth Crime Prevention.
  • Review the Objectives of this lesson plan.
  • Identify ways in which you are personally linked to the subject matter. This presentation is general in nature, and will be more effective if you tailor it to your personal experiences, the audience and your community.
  • Guest speakers can have an impact. If there is someone in your community who has suffered a loss or has been affected by distracted driving, invite them to speak with the youth. NOTE: Activities will need to be removed to allow for this addition while staying on time.
  • Print the lesson plan and reference documents.
  • Print required handouts; make a few extra copies just to be sure. Print the "Leave the Phone Alone" pledge for students.
  • Gather material needed.
  • Ensure your location has any technology you require (computer, projector, etc.).



  • Put the cartoon on the SmartBoard or projector screen as the students are arriving. Using the cartoon as an icebreaker, briefly discuss how it portrays distracted driving.

Comic #8 - Distracted driving

[ Image Description/Larger Image ]


  • Introduce yourself.
  • Tell the students about your job and why you are here to talk to them. Tell students that in today's class they will talk about distracted driving, the consequences it can have and how to avoid distractions when they are behind the wheel.
  • After the presentation, tell the students that you hope they commit to not driving distracted.
  • If you are a police officer, briefly discuss the role of police officers when it comes to distracted driving.
  • Pass out one index card to each student. Explain that this card is to be used for students to write down any questions they may have. The presenter will collect them towards the end of the presentation and answer them anonymously in front of the group.

Activity #1: Defining Distracted Driving

Goal: To define distracted driving.
Type: Visual and group discussion.
Time: 10 minutes

Step #1:

Step #2:

Activity #2: Myths vs. Facts of Distracted Driving

Goal: To enhance the students knowledge of distracted driving by distinguishing between myths and facts.
Type: Quiz and group discussion
Time: 15 minutes

Step #1:

Step #2:

  • When time is up, review the correct answers by asking students to share their responses for each number. As you are going through the answers, make sure to discuss each myth or fact in detail and answer any questions the youth might have. The correct answers for each question can be found in Activity #2: Myths vs. Facts of Distracted Driving (11-12.2 Reference) at the end of this lesson plan.

Activity #3: Outcomes

Goal: To allow students to identify possible outcomes of distracted driving and how they can avoid distractions while driving.
Type: Group discussion
Time: 10 minutes

Step #1:

  • Assign each group one of the distractions listed on the reference sheet: Activity #3: Outcomes (11-12.3 Reference).
  • Tell the students to come up with possible outcomes of the distraction, and ways to avoid it.
  • Place chart paper on the wall for each group.
  • Give the students 5 minutes to complete the task.

Step #2:

  • After the 5 minutes has lapsed, go over the students' scenarios and answers.
  • Emphasize the importance of limiting distractions while driving. Use the reference sheet to guide the discussion.

Activity #4: Affected Lives

Goal: To encourage students to think about how distracted driving can affect other people.
Type: Blog post/journal entry
Time: 15 minutes

Step #1:

  • Inform the students that they may work in groups of 3-4 or by themselves if they prefer.
  • Distribute a blank sheet of paper to each student or group.
  • Tell them that they have 5 minutes to write a short blog/journal entry as if they were someone who was negatively affected by distracted driving. They can also write the entry as a distracted driver.

Step # 2:

  • After 5 minutes have passed, ask if there are any volunteers who are willing to share their stories.
  • Discuss them with the rest of the class, emphasizing just how many people are truly affected by an individual's decision to take their eyes off the road, even momentarily.


  • Introduce the "Leave the Phone Alone" pledge sheet by saying:
    • "Now that you know what constitutes distracted driving and how it can affect people, challenge each other to avoid distractions while driving and take the pledge."
    • Hand out the "Leave the Phone Alone" pledge sheets and ask students to fill it out. Let students know that this can be done online as well.
    • Encourage students to use social media to start their own campaigns to end distracted driving.
  • To conclude the lesson, summarize the important points and highlights of your discussion throughout the session.
  • Collect all index cards from students. Take some time to answer any questions from the cards that the students may have had.
  • Leave students with information about how to contact you if they have any follow up questions that they didn't want to ask in class.

Reference Documents

Activity #1: Defining Distracted Driving (11-12.1 Reference)

Distracted driving is a form of impaired driving as a driver's judgment is compromised when they are not fully focused on the road. It is anything that takes a driver's: eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off the task.

It means that a person is not giving their full attention to the road and is paying attention to other things instead, like checking their cell phone, finding a radio station, looking at a map, eating a burger, etc.

Possible things learned from the video:

  • Things happen in the blink of an eye
  • Looking away for even a second can cause a collision
  • Distracted driving can include checking your phone while driving, talking on the phone, or concentrating on the music that's playing
  • There are serious consequences related to distracted driving

Activity #2: Myths vs. Facts of Distracted Driving (11-12.2 Reference)

For each distracted driving statement below, circle whether you think it is a myth or a fact.

Statement #1

Driver's using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a collision serious enough to cause injury over drivers who are focused on the road.



Statement #2

In some provinces a person can be fined up to $2,000.00 for distracted driving. They could also have their license suspended, be sentenced to driver rehab, or be charged with dangerous driving and face possible jail time.



Statement #3

In three seconds, driving 60 kilometres per hour, you travel 50 metres – that's half a length of a football field.



Statement #4

Reading maps or other material while driving is considered a driver distraction.



Statement #5

If you are stopped at a red light it is okay to check your text messages.



Statement #6

Even when drivers use a hands-free phone, they are less aware of the traffic around them. They tend to react more slowly to a critical event or worse – they may not detect the danger at all.



Statement #7

Drivers talking on cellphones are in many cases just as impaired as drunk drivers.



Statement #8

Experienced drivers are no better at handling cellphone distraction than novice drivers.



Statement #9

It is okay to use your cellphone while driving as long as it does not take your focus off the road.



Statement #10

Driver distraction is a factor in 8 out of 10 (about 4 million) car crashes in North America each year.



Activity #3Outcomes (11-12.3 Reference)

Driver Distraction Possible Scenarios Possible Ways to Avoid the Situation
Talking on the phone
  • Distracted by conversation
  • Run red light
  • Receive a fine of up to $1,000.00 and 3 demerit points
  • Put the phone on silent or turn it off before starting your journey
  • Pull over safely and make/take the call
Texting/using social media
  • Update Facebook/Twitter while driving on a wintery night
  • Hit black ice, lose control, immediately hit a post, resulting in death
  • Wait until you have reached your destination to update the social media, or do it beforehand
Reading maps or other material
  • Lost, not paying attention to the road
  • End up violating traffic laws
  • Receive a fine for speeding
  • Plan your route beforehand
  • Have a friend with you in the car who will read the directions to you
Grooming activities
  • Looking through a bag for lipstick, lose focus on road
  • Look back in time to see you are about to have a head-on collision
  • Groom yourself before leaving your house, or do it once you've reached the destination
  • Tell the people you're meeting that you will be a few minutes late in order to allow yourself to safely get ready
Fiddling with radio station or other car controls
  • Look away from the road for three seconds
  • Don't realize that the car ahead of you has suddenly slammed on its brakes
  • Car crash
  • Preset your radio stations before you leave the house
  • Create the playlist on your iPod beforehand
  • Set the temperature in your car before you get going
Being "too" into your music
  • Rocking out to music
  • Can't hear horns honking at you as you mistakenly go through a light or make a turn
  • Hit the biker who was crossing the road
  • Ensure that the volume of your music doesn't impede you from hearing horns, or emergency vehicles
  • Pay attention to what is around you
  • Check mirrors frequently
Eating and driving
  • Driving with one hand on the wheel and one holding a burger
  • Need to unwrap the burger, take both hands off the wheel while looking at the wrapper
  • Swerve into another lane and fail to get back into your own
  • End up in fatal car crash
  • Eat before you leave
  • Park in a parking lot and eat there
  • Eat inside the restaurant/fast food place