Let's Talk: Driving & Walking Distractions

Read what others are saying about this month's topic. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comments and for considering how we can keep each other safer by removing distractions from our lives.

Have you walked into someone because you were focused on the YouTube video on your phone? Have you stepped out into traffic because you were having a conversation with a friend?

What about driving? Are you distracted by the GPS? Your pet?

Distractions while driving and walking can be dangerous.

The Pledge to Limit Technology Distractions was inspired by the 2016 freshman Common Read, A Deadly Wandering, by Matt Richtel. All UC students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the pledge.

Join the 2000+ students, faculty and staff who have taken the pledge!


Giulia P. and Simon M. each won a $25 Starbucks gift card in our
random drawing among those who have taken the
pledge since October!


Look who recently took the Pledge!

Jacob M.
Trista W. Wade B.
Noah L. Jordan S. Kyle H.
Jadarria W. Colin S. Julia H.
Brooke F. Anh T.     Amani C.
Nicholas F. Ryann S. Taylor G.
Samuel K. Crystal P. Morgan H.

April - Types of Distractions

In April, we focused on the different types of distractions in both walking and driving, how dangerous they can be, and how likely participants were to do these tyes of things. Having these conversations is an important part of our campaign and learning process.


How has this campaign influenced your conversations or behaviors about distractions?

"I think it's a good idea to get people thinking about driving distractions as well as walking distractions. Many people don't consider the things they do in the car to be distracting until it's brought to their attention. I also would not have fully considered the role of the walker as having too many distractions so it was a good idea to include that portion in this survey."

Driving Distraction
How likely were you to do it?
How dangerous is it?
Eat/Drink 4.47


Calling without hands-free device 3.06 5.50
Calling with hands-free device 4.42 3.42
Turn around to speak 1.81 6.13
Reach in backseat/floor/glove compartment, etc. 2.40 5.97
Text 2.56 6.69
Apply makeup/groom 1.51 6.24
Use ear buds/headphones 1.21 5.86
Change the radio station 5.43 3.25
Use a navigation device 4.95 3.36
Read 1.24 6.70
Rubberneck 1.98 3.70
Tend to pets 1.47 3.16
Watch videos 1.12 4.11

Congratulations to Mohini N., who won a FREE SEMESTER OF PARKING, and Sarah M., who won 3 MONTHS OF FREE PARKING in a random drawing! Each time someone participated in an activity, they received one chance to win. Many participants had 7 entries each!

Walking Distraction
How likely were you to do it?
How dangerous is it?

Use ear buds/headphones



Talk on the phone 4.56 3.16
Text 4.75 4.11
Read 2.14 4.62
Look for something in your purse/backpack 3.47 3.64
Daydream 4.16 3.49
Converse with friends 5.57 2.36

March - Types of Distractions

In March, we focused on the three types of distractions: cognitive, visual and manual. In a survey we asked you to describe 2 - 3 types of each. The word clouds below represent the responses, with the largest words being the ones mentioned the most.


Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distraction is when a driver's mind isn't focused on driving.

Types of Cognitive Distractions


Visual Distractions

Visual distraction occurs when a driver looks at anything other than the road ahead. 

Types of Visual Distractions

Congratulations to Kylie W, who won a $25 Visa gift card in our March participants' random drawing!


Manual Distractions

Manual distraction is when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel for any reason.

Types of Manual Distractions

February - Distracted Walking

Graph of Responses




Q1: Estimate how many times a day you see someone walking while talking on the phone, walking while texting, and/or walking with their headphones in.

Graph of Responses



Estimate how many times in a day you walk while talking on the phone, walk while texting, and/or walk with your headphones in.

Congratulations to Turan A., who won a $25 Visa gift card in our February participants' random drawing!  

January - Reactions to the Video The Last Word

Congratulations to Brandi F., who won a $25 UC Bookstores gift card in our January participants' random drawing!  

Wow, this video definitely hit the human in me and anyone watching this. In such a fast-moving society, we get caught up with our texts and emails and it becomes a MUST for us to respond to messages- or so we tell ourselves. We do not realize that it takes just a few seconds for our eyes to be off the road in order for an accident to happen. Unfortunately, we do not learn and believe "that won't ever happen to me, I've mastered texting and driving". But in reality, texting while driving is such a dangerous act and we must practice much self-discipline in order to eliminate harm to ourselves and others around us. I believe this video was extremely important as it hit such a critical topic, as discussed in our 2016 Common Read. Thank you for posting and spreading the message! Student
It's certainly something very real that everyone overlooks.. distractions are common, and can very easily turn any day into a bad one..hopefully more individuals learn the risks before more accidents happen..it can happen to anyone. Student
Everytime I see a video relating to losing a loved one through some kind of distracted driving it breaks my heart that there are still people out there who do this time and time again without thought of the consequences because they brush it off as “it won’t happen to me.” Be mindful of your actions and to who else they could affect besides yourself. Faculty/ Staff
The video made a serious impact when they showed the little boy carrying a casket. I never think about what will happens to others when I respond to a text or think about the lives I could take and what those people would be leaving behind. You always think it wont happen to you. This very made me reflect on my own life and the decisions I make because it could ultimately take the choice away from someone else. The video was really good and definitely gave me a new resolution to work on. Student 
Touching.  As a mother it makes me stop and think.  I have 3 children and to see that little boy’s reaction to watching the video that his dad was watching when he died, I wouldn’t want that to be my kids. Faculty/ Staff
The story that the "The Last Word" told tugs at the heart strings. While watching the video I tried to put myself in the situation of the boy and thought about what it would be like to see your love one being buried. Then I put myself in the dad position. He is missing his's son's childhood and will miss out on so many opportunities with him. Texting and driving is no laughing matter and the people of our generation don't seem to take it that seriously. This is why videos like "The Last Word" should be shared with everyone to so that texting and driving is a serious issue. Student
It is heartbreaking! It is very crazy to think about how something seemingly as insignificant as looking at a text message can change your life or the life of someone else in an instant. People, myself included, need to be more careful and aware of what they are doing while driving. Life is too short! Faculty/ Staff
I was emotionally moved by the video, it made me rethink previous decisions and urges me to change habits that could be dangerous. Student
It moves me to tears thinking of all the senseless deaths and injuries caused by something that is easy to control. These messages may not change everyone but if it can help even a few it is worth reminding all of us that get behind a wheel and might be tempted by technologies constant distraction. Student
After watching the video my heart sank into my toes. Seeing that little boy lose his father was heartbreaking. Everything can change in an instant and we have to recognize that and do everything we can to prevent an accident when driving. Student
Totally different from what I was expecting.  Deeply touching.  Hopefully this video to those who do text and drive will really understand what could happen.  So sad. Staff/ Faculty
This video is so sad and unfortunately accurate. People don't think before reaching for their phone while driving to read a text or send one. It only takes looking away for a second for an accident to occur. Faculty/ Staff
I really only paid attention to driving and texting but recently I noticed how’s distracted I was during walking and texting. THis video reiterated how important it is to focus on one thing at  a time. Texting can wait!!! Student
This really affected me. Being a new mom, this reminded me how all of my decisions impact my child's life as well - not just my own. I will do better at reminding myself that the text can wait. Faculty/ Staff
Wow! It really hit home. We think it can't happen to us and minimize the probability it will, if we continue to text and drive. Lets all take the pledge and hold each other accountable while riding together. Student
People don't think about the risk they are taking when they allow themselves to become distracted while driving. I have someone close to me that lost a parent to distracted driving and I have seen first hand the pain it leaves the surviving family with. For each of us it is important to stand up against detracted driving, not just resist ourselves. Each driver is a daughter or son. They could be a sibling or a spouse or a parent. One text is too many text. One glance is a glance too much off the road. To stop avoidable loss or pain we must find the courage to be uncomfortable. To tell our friends and family to put the phone away and to focus on driving. Better to stand up in the discomfort than someone stand up in front of a family member to report the result of distracted driving. Student

December - Don't Miss What is Happening Around You this Holiday Season


Did You Notice Chewbacca?

The video and quiz this month demonstrated the dangers distractions pose to pedestrians. Stay tuned to see how participants scored on the quiz!




Jamie M. won a $25 Starbucks gift card in our random drawing among those who took the December quiz!


Let's See How We Did on the Quiz!

According to a study, what percentage of people are more likely to veer off line while walking and texting versus non-texters?

Correct answer: 60%

46% got it right!

Pedestrian-vehicle injuries are the ____ leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 19.

Correct answer: 5th

47% got it right!

Which of the below behaviors should you follow while walking to help you stay safe?

  • Don’t wear headphones while walking.
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing at night.
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street.

Correct answer: All of the above

95% got it right!

The number of pedestrian deaths increased _____% from 2015 to 2016.

Correct answer: 11%

40% got it right!

November - How Dangerous are Certain Distractions?

Distractions are everywhere.

How do they affect you, or do you allow them to affect you? How dangerous are they? How does the danger compare to how likely you were to be distracted?

That's what our survey asked, on a scale of 1 (least) to 7 (most). This is what you said (average scores listed):


How likely
were you to?
How dangerous
is it?
Eat/drink   4.37 4.45
Call someone without using a hands-free device 3.14 5.40
Call someone while using a hands-free device
4.19 3.33
Turn around to speak to someone in the back of the car
1.76 6.08
Reach for somethoing in the back seat/floor/glove compartment, etc.
2.42 5.93
Text 2.60 6.67
Put on makeup/personal grooming 1.51 6.19
Have earbuds/headphones in 1.23 5.80
Change the radio station 5.42 3.17
Use a navigation device 5.06 3.53
Read 1.21 6.71


were you to?
How dangerous
is it?
Have earbuds/headphones in 3.55 3.53
Talk on the phone 4.62 3.01
Text 4.88 3.98
Read 2.13 4.51
Look for something in your purse/backpack 3.55 3.51
Daydream 4.13 3.38
Converse with friends 5.56 2.26


Raven J. won a $25 VISA gift card in our random drawing among those who participated in the November survey!