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National Health Education Standards (NHES) 9-12

Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
2.12.2. Analyze how the culture supports and challenges health beliefs, practices, and behaviors.
2.12.3 Analyze how peers influence healthy and unhealthy behaviors.
2.12.7 Analyze how the perceptions of norms influence healthy and unhealthy behaviors.
2.12.8 Analyze the influence of personal values and beliefs on individual health practices and behaviors.

Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.
5.12.5 Predict the potential short-term and long-term impact of each alternative on self and others.


  • Identify key factors associated with teenage traffic collisions
  • Understand the responsibilities of a newly licensed driver
  • Gain a better understanding of consequences associated with inexperienced and distracted driving
  • Discuss ways in which behaviors affect safe driving
  • Discuss ways to improve their driving
  • Identify the rules and allowances of their State Graduated Drivers License Policy

Activity 1

Ask students to think about a recent accident they witnessed or learned about on the evening news. Relate:

  • A brief description of the crash and the drivers (adults or teenagers)
  • The apparent cause(s) of the crash
  • The consequences (was anyone injured or killed; what was the damage to the car or other property)

Brainstorm a master list of the apparent causes of the crashes where teenagers were the drivers. Compare the class list to the following list of common factors associated with traffic crashes involving teenagers:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Texting or talking on the phone
  • Changing the radio station/adjusting iPod or other MP3 device
  • Having been deprived of sleep
  • Putting on make-up or fixing hair
  • Eating or drinking
  • Showing off for friends/passengers
  • Following too close
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Looking at a traffic crash or broken down vehicle on the side of the roadway
  • Misjudge speed and/or distance

How many of the common factors did your class identify? Discuss each of the common factors for clarity.

After the discussion, prioritize the common factors as to the cause of most crashes. Conduct research on the Internet or contact the community relations' office at your local police department to determine if your class has prioritized the list correctly. Create a digital infomercial or a video blog for publication in your community or school newspaper, addressing one of the common factors. Include in your digital infomercial or a digital blog video clips, images, articles, interviews, or other Internet resources you deem effective to make your presentation persuasive.

Activity 2

Did you know some fatal crashes occur because a person may be changing a CD or radio channel? Or, they may be on a cell phone? Look at a classmate to your left or right; how many pieces of jewelry is that person wearing? How many classmates have cell phones? How many classmates text on a regular basis?

Many fatal crashes in teenage driving involve only the teen's vehicle. Typically, these crashes were high-speed where the driver lost control. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), driver error accounts for 75 percent of fatal crashes among 16-year-olds, 68 percent of deadly crashes among 17-year-olds, and 54 percent of fatal crashes among those who are between the ages of 20 and 49.

Create a digital prevention plan in which you research, record, and report on how extraneous factors, such as jewelry, applying make-up, texting, cell calls, or clothes have been a catalyst for an accident. Include in your digital prevention plan video clips, images, interviews, articles, and other Internet resources you deem useful. As a class, present all of your digital prevention plans to your school audience and then make them available for review in the library as reminders for safe driving. In addition, if your school has daily or weekly televised news, present one digital prevention plan per week or per day.

Activity 3

Hold something in your hand such as an eraser that you can toss to someone in the audience. Notice how everyone watches the object. Create a journal in which you catalogue each time you or a classmate is distracted in your classes: note action, assigned task, and the approximate amount of time you require to "readjust" yourself to your assigned task.

The next day, compare your results. What you will find is that distractions can occur anytime, anywhere, without notice and can have negative results. This activity has illustrated to you another kind of distraction that can cause you to take your eyes off the road for a brief moment. Even watching someone walking on the side of the road or an activity on the side of the road could create the components for a crash.

Do not conduct any activity without adult supervision. This content is provided for informational purposes only; Discovery Education and Toyota assume no liability for your use of the information. Published by Discovery Education. © 2015. All rights reserved.