Essay Sample on Teenage Driving Distractions

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967 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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What is your chosen topic, and how did you come across it? Why is it interesting to you? What do you personally hope to gain or accomplish by writing about this topic?

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Teenage driving distraction is an interesting topic considering its importance among not only teenage drivers and stakeholders in the road safety but also the general public. In the U.S. alone, teenage driving distractions account for about 13% of all motor vehicle-related injuries. Considering the topic is important, many sources have given the issue utmost significance and offered a multidimensional approach to the issue. I first came across such an article on New York Times. The article, Teenage Drivers? Be Very Afraid, was published on March 19th, 2016 (Feiler, 2016). It was an interesting and informative read. The article offered different perspectives on the topic. From what could contribute to crashes, to some solutions for the problem. The article was not only informative, but it aroused curiosity in me. I began reading widely on the issue and also doing some research on the magnitude of the problem. The topic became more than just any other read; it became a daily inspiration. That why I choose to write about so as to give another point of view. Something fresh backed by evidence, and that has not been addressed before. An informative piece that could inspire the right audience and address the dangers of distracted driving.

Provide a brief summary of the topic. Explain the current issues surrounding the topic and share at least two different positions on the topic.

Teenage driver distractions account for about 11% of the total motor-vehicle-related injuries in the US according to Road Carnage statistics. The highest incidence of distracted driving crashes fatalities involves teens between the age of 16 and 19. Various authors have addressed the issue particularly its causes.

Steinberg bases his article on the neuroscience theory. The theory helps understand the teenage behavior of risk taking from another perspective. According to Steinberg, adolescents have the tendency to increase risky behavior as they approach adulthood. The risky behavior is attributed to stimulation of structural changes in the brain. The article is insightful on why teenagers tend to engage in risky behaviors such as teenage driving in their late teenage years.

Laurence Steinberg is a child and adolescent psychological development expert. He is internationally recognized with about 350 publications to his name. His research mainly focuses on a wide range of topics of contemporary adolescence including decision making, brain development, and risk-taking among others. Additionally, he is a distinguished university professor at Temple University.

Arnett attributes distracted driving among teenagers to social dynamic. Arnett argues that social aspects such as friends can increase the risk of crashing. He argues that the power of friends can mainly be seen in texting which has been attributed to distracted crashing. Moreover, constant communication on the phone and driving escapades among friends are among the high causes of crashes attributed to distraction driving.

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett is a research professor of psychology. He is based at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has contributed significantly to the field of psychology mainly in adulthood. He is the originator of the theory of emerging adulthood.

What specific issue will you write about within the larger topic, and what unique angle will you provide?

The paper will approach the topic from different perspectives. It will not focus on one issue on teenage driving distractions, but it will consider different causes of crashes concerning teenage driving distractions. I believe that addressing the topic in this manner will be informative and conclusive.

Define your audience. Who are they, and what are their needs, motivations, and influences? In what ways will you need to structure your writing to appeal to them?

The target audience for this topic is teenage drivers. Considering this, the paper will make various considerations. The paper will mainly focus on the necessary information (Tyner, 2008). They are in a phase need a lot of love, care, and above all understanding. Given this fact, the writing approach will consider various aspects as details. The details used should address the issue from all aspects and make it easy for the teen drivers to understand. This way, the teenage drivers will make a point of listening and will feel free to engage in conversations that can be helpful. Additionally, most teenage drivers are at a phase in their lives where they desire to listen and in some instances, they believe to know too much that they feel they do not need any guidance. Considering this, it is necessary to anticipate objections and learn to deal with them. Mostly, it is essential to consider addressing and emphasizing on the positive aspects and these how aspects can enhance safety on the road.

Secondly, organization and language of writing are important in passing the message. Most teenagers either do not like reading or are reluctant readers. Therefore, it is important to get to the point right away to avoid boredom and to ensure the most important points are addressed when the brain is still alert. Secondly, the format of writing should anticipate and meet the audiences expectations. It is necessary to include headings and overviews of the specific topics being addressed to make it easier to read the paper. Moreover, in writing the paper, it is critical to consider accessibility and strive for clarity (Tyner, 2008). In most cases, teenagers prefer the use of simple, natural, personable, conversational, and tactful language. Ensure to avoid negative, arrogant, incompetent, and defensive language. This may demean the message being passed.


Feiler, B. (2016). Teenage Drivers? Be Very Afraid. The New York Times.

Steinberg, L. (n.d.). Adolescent Risk Taking: A Social Neuroscience Perspective. Adolescent Vulnerabilities and Opportunities, 41-64. doi:10.1017/cbo9781139042819.005

Tyner, T. E. (2008). Writing voyage: A process approach to basic writing. Boston: Thomson/Wadsworth.

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