In 2008 [the most recent data available], nearly 6,000 people died and more than half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
With the spread of all kinds of new phone technology, one can imagine that those numbers continue to rise.
More than 20 percent of all crashes that same year involved some type of distraction – talking on a cell phone, texting and driving, eating, applying make-up, reading a map, talking with friends in the car, and the like.
The largest number of fatal crashes involved drivers under the age of 20.
The NHTSA also found that 40 percent of teenagers say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.
And that one in four American teens admit to texting while driving.
The U.S. Department of Transportation, Seventeen magazine and AAA today [Aug 2} announced a national “Two-Second Turnoff Day” Viral Video Challenge.
The video contest ends on Sept. 10.
The video challenge is about raising awareness about distracted driving. The winner will be featured as part of Seventeen’s National Two-Second Turnoff Day, on Sept. 17, 2010.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, taking your eyes off of the road for two seconds doubles your crash risk.
It also only takes two seconds to turn off the phone before getting behind the wheel.
Video about the contest, from Seventeen Magazine
Seventeen magazine is holding a National Two-Second Turnoff Day to remind teens to take two seconds and turn off the phone while driving.
According to a survey sponsored by Seventeen Magazine and the automotive organization AAA, 86 percent of teens know that distracted driving is dangerous, “and they do it anyway,” says Editor in Chief of Seventeen Magazine Ann Shoket.
“This contest helps teens hammer in [the message], the real danger of driving while distracted, to prevent accidents and save lives,” she says.
Can you get through to them?
So, the idea of the “viral video challenge” is to raise awareness among young people about the dangers of talking on a cell phone and/or texting while driving.
The challenge is to develop something catchy and creative enough to make the point stick.
You must be a teenager to enter. The official entry form can be downloaded at www.seventeen.com/twosecond.
Once you’ve completed your anti-distracted driving video, upload it to the Seventeen site, and get as many people as you can to view it.
The winning video will be featured at DOT’s second Distracted Driving Summit on Sept. 21, 2010 and on Seventeen.com, AAAExchange.com, and Distraction.gov.
The winner also receives a $2,000 prize sponsored by AAA and Discover.
To learn more about the National Two-Second Turnoff Day Video Challenge, visit www.seventeen.com/twosecond.
Posted Aug. 3, 2010
Editor’s note: if you submit a video, please feel free to tell us in the comment section – this will help you with your goal of getting the most number of viewers.