Distracted Driving

Practice Exam:  Distracted Driving Scenario

You are newly employed at the headquarters of Citizens for the Responsible Analysis of Politics, located in Greenville, USA.  This politically neutral organization provides analysis and fact-checking of policy claims by political candidates (inclusive of all political parties).  Your state has recently passed a law prohibiting texting while driving.

Your state senator, Jaye Arcot, is up for reelection. While she supported the recent ban on texting while driving, she has publicly opposed any additional regulations, including a proposed ban on portable technology devices (iPhones, Bluetooth enabled devices, etc.) that can lead to distracted driving in automobiles. Senator Arcot spoke about the latest proposal and its implications at a Greenville Rotary Club meeting.  In that speech, she made three main points:

1. Senator Arcot claimed that “with so many car manufacturers offering [technology devices in vehicles], they must be safe.”

2:  Senator Arcot claimed that hands-free cell phones are safer to use while driving than hand-held devices because they are voice-activated.

3:  The senator also claimed that a ban on portable technology devices in automobiles would be virtually impossible to enforce.

The local League of Women Voters is preparing their regular pre-election publication Guide to the Candidates and has again asked your organization to provide non-partisan analysis of each state senate candidate’s position on a variety of issues.  Your supervisor divided these duties among your colleagues and has asked you to prepare an article that analyzes the strengths and limitations of each of Senator Ascot’s three main points on the use of technology devices in motor vehicles, including any holes in those arguments. While you are not being asked to endorse either Senator Arcot or her opponent, your article should contain an overall recommendation to the League of Women Voters about whether a law that bans the use of portable technology devices while driving makes sense in the state.

You have collected the documents in the Document Library, and you have the next two hours to review these documents and prepare a response to your supervisor’s request. You are being asked to make a recommendation. Recommendation articles are generally very concise and well organized (often using bulleted points), yet they go into just enough detail to defend the position logically. While footnotes are not necessary in this article, it is customary to acknowledge any external sources of information.  Support your recommendation by citing relevant information from the Document Library.

Document Library for Part A:

Doc 1 April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

DOC 2 Nikki Kellenyi’s Story

Doc 3 Traffic Safety Facts 2014 – Table 6

DOC 4 Pages S6-S15 Article Adolecense Attention Allocation and Driving Safety

DOC 5 New Pennsylvania law not yet putting a dent in texting while driving _ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

DOC 6 scroll to article Top 10 Bluetooth Headsets of 2016 _ Top Ten Reviews

DOC 7 Should We Abolish Driving While Texting Laws_


April Fugett, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
109 Old Main

Jennifer Morgan
Office Administrator
109 Old Main