You’re cruising through your writing class just fine. No speed bumps in the road to a decent grade. But then your instructor decides to put up a roadblock—a texting while driving essay.
You screech to a halt.
You weren’t paying attention to how to write essays most effectively and, instead, just wrote whatever came naturally. But you don’t feel so confident with this one—if you don’t get back on course, you’ll crash and burn.
Kind of like this …
People you know probably text while they drive, right? Maybe you even do it yourself. It’s one of those things your teacher doesn’t want students (or anyone else) doing. That’s why your assignment is a texting while driving essay.
I get it … there’s only so much you can say about the subject. It’s bad to do. Everyone knows that. But there are interesting, fresh, and exciting ways to write your texting while driving essay.
I’ll show you how to write your own essay with a little bit of oomph, all with some help from a couple of guys who know about oomph (and how to not be distracted drivers)—Jake and Elwood Blues, better known as the Blues Brothers.
Key Ingredients to a Great Texting While Driving Essay
Before you jump right into writing your essay, it might be helpful to know exactly what will take it to the next level. That way, you can make it awesome from the start and won’t have to rewrite the whole thing.
The first thing to think about is what type of essay it is. Because everyone knows texting while driving is dangerous, it’ll probably be a persuasive essay. That means you must convince your reader not to text and drive.
In rare cases, it might be an argumentative essay in which you have to choose a side for or against texting while driving. But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume it’s persuasive.
Like with any persuasive essay, there are three important elements to consider: your audience, your purpose, and the benefits of your position. The best way to flesh these out before writing is with an outline.
For your outline, you’ll want to including space for the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. I’m going to center my example under the assumption that the reason the cop cars in the video above crashed is that they were distracted by their cellphones.
- Hook: Anyone can be a distracted driver, even those who are supposed to protect the public from harm. Texting while driving causes 3,000 teen traffic fatalities every year.
- Thesis Statement: In order to save lives and millions of dollars in property damage, drivers need to leave their phones out of sight.
- Body Paragraph #1
- Define and call out to your audience
- It is the responsibility of all drivers to understand the power they have behind the wheel and that they can easily take a human life or destroy someone else’s property. Texting while driving can cause otherwise smart individuals to become so distracted that they drive their cars into malls and put hundreds of people in danger. (Quick note: You definitely need to see this.)
- Define and call out to your audience
- Body Paragraph #2
- Explain what the reader needs to do
- It’s time for those on the road to put down their cellphones while they are behind the wheel.
- Explain what the reader needs to do
- Body Paragraph #3
- Benefits of your stance
- By ceasing to text while driving, drivers can protect the lives of others and themselves, as well as keep cars and property intact.
- Benefits of your stance
- Drivers can ensure they don’t end up destroying malls and causing 20-car pileups with one simple solution—not texting and driving.
(Note: My example outline is incomplete. Make sure your own outline levels are each divided into at least two parts.)
It’s important to note that the wording of these elements doesn’t have to be final. But you want a general idea of what you’re going to write and to make sure the information is all in the right order.
Check out these example texting while driving essays for inspiration:
The Negative Effects of Texting While Driving
An Introduction to the Issue of Texting and Driving
A Report on Road Accidents Caused by the Use of Cell Phones While Driving
The Negative Effects of the Use of Cellular Phones While Driving
(Note: The above essays vary by format, but they’ll serve as good fodder for finding the angle you want to take in your own texting while driving essay.)
Finding Your Angle
There are a lot of different ways to approach a texting while driving essay—you just have to think outside the box a little. So here are a few angles you could take:
1. Be a little narrative
While this isn’t a narrative essay, it might help the reader understand the severity of the consequences of texting while driving if you include some examples you or someone you know has experienced. You should still avoid first person while writing your essay, but the information makes it more personal.
Example: The police officers could have caught and arrested the Blues Brothers for the many laws they had broken, but the officers were so distracted by their cellphones that they pulled out in front of oncoming traffic and ended up colliding with a semi-truck. Luckily, no one was killed in this instance, but there are many more cases where the people involved aren’t as fortunate.
2. Offer some alternatives
Think about why people text while they drive, and then offer some alternatives that are still suitable solutions to their needs.
Example: Instead of replying to that text, people should have someone else in the car—the deputy, a brother, or a friend—do it for them.
3. Make a dramatic call to action
Don’t make it completely unrealistic, but state what some of the consequences should be for texting while driving.
Example: Anyone who is caught texting while driving should have to pay, at minimum, a $250 fine. If officers or other societal protectors are caught texting while driving, they should be put on suspension or fired if there are multiple offenses.
Some Texting While Driving Thesis Statement Examples
So now that you have an idea about how to write your texting while driving essay, it’s time to get into more of the specifics.
First, you’ll want a strong thesis statement, which is a sentence (or two) in your introduction that explains your position. You need to show you mean business with this statement, so be clear.
Here are a few examples:
Example 1: Because texting while driving is the leading cause of traffic fatalities among teens in the United States, all drivers—teens and adults—should take more responsibility and put the phone down when they are behind the wheel.
Example 2: Parents and older siblings must set good examples for others by not texting and driving.
Example 3: Due to the lack of personal responsibility of most drivers, the government should make newer, harsher laws against texting and driving.
How to Choose Your Sources
As I said before, this is not a narrative essay. This means you’ll need some sources to back up your statements. There are many websites you can visit to get information, such as the CDC, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Texting and Driving Safety website.
The main thing to keep in mind when choosing your sources is whether they’re credible.
This doesn’t mean they have to be a government website or published study (although those are awesome sources!). It just means they have to have some substance to back up what they’re saying.
- Does the information have a bibliography?
- Does it reference or link to published studies?
- Does it link to a credible agency?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you’re almost golden. I say “almost” because the final thing to check is how recent the statistics are. Texting and driving is a growing trend, so statistics from 2013 are already outdated.
For more information on choosing your sources, read How to Apply the CRAAP Test to Your Essay Sources.
Asserting Your Validity
So you have all your ducks in a row, but you’re still not sure if your argument is convincing enough. Will your reader question your position’s validity? Not if you follow a couple of simple rules.
- Rule #1: Don’t waiver. Staying strong in your position shows you are certain about it. That certainty shows the reader you know what you’re talking about.
- Rule #2: Have support to back it up. Show some facts and figures. Quote credible sources. Don’t fill your entire texting while driving essay with numbers, but use enough supportive examples so that no one can question the truth of your statements.
Do you feel a little more ready to write now? Well, good! Get to writing then!
If you finish and want another set of eyes to look it over, send your essay to one of the Kibin editors. They’ll make sure it flows well and make any needed suggestions for changes to ensure it doesn’t end up a mess like this:
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Is it that important to keep a conversation going throughout the whole day? According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 20% of all fatal car accidents due to distracted driving were caused by people using there cellphones. These people could not put down there phone for a simple car ride, and they ended up killing themselves or someone else because of it. Texting and driving is a serious problem in the United States and needs to be illegal now. There are way too many innocent people dying because of this outrageous act. First texting and driving is very hazardous and causes lots of damage to people and property. There are a lot people against texting and driving because it causes a great amount of car crashes each year, many of those being fatal. People just can’t resist, not responding, to someone if they feel the vibration of their phone, they just have to check.
In 2007, 5917 people died, and 448,000 people were injured all because people made the decision to drive distracted. Too many innocent lives have been taken because someone made the decision to text and drive. Each state has different laws set in place for texting and driving. As of April of 2012 ten states have banned teenagers from texting driving and there are strict laws to enforce it (Hossansky). As hard as it is to take your eyes away from your phone while driving, it needs to happen; otherwise far too many people will lose their lives from this act. Although a lot of people are in favor of this law that would ban texting while driving, others think it should not be banned. The views of people against banning texting while driving think, if you need to urgently text someone you should be able to and not have to worry about getting a ticket. Some other people say it’s harmless to text and drive if you are texting with your voice or using a hands free device.
Another argument people would make is cops shouldn’t be spending time just on the lookout for texting and driving; they should fight crime or stop people who are actually breaking the law. Those points are very valid arguments too; however it’s been proven that people aren’t distracted when talking, it’s when they look down at the device. The average time it takes to read a text message is 4.6 seconds, and going 55 MPH while reading 4.6 seconds, that’s like driving the length of a football field blindly (VTTI). That is dangerous, and if people knew the facts of texting and driving people would stop. If texting and driving isn’t bad enough, many people have compared it to drunk driving. Drunk driving is
illegal, and so should texting and driving. Texting and driving is equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% which is legally drunk, according to drivinglaws.org. For years people have known the damage done by drunk driving, because of this knowledge people are finding different ways to get home and not drink and driving, they are finding a cab or have a designated driver.
The laws are strict and people are changing there habits. So if people were able to learn about drunk driving, more people need to inform people about the risks of texting while driving. Once people figure that out, I believe more and more people will be more aware that texting and driving can cause lots of damage, and should be illegal. In conclusion texting while driving needs to be banned. It puts many peoples life’s at risk, and not enough people are listening to the facts about the dangers of texting and driving. If you are choosing to text and drive, just remember you are not only putting your life at risk, but also the peoples life’s around you that are innocent at risk. The text can wait, and instead of driving distracted focus on the road.