Contest aims to warn teens of risk of distracted driving car accidents in Chicago, elsewhere

A nationwide contest is challenging teenagers to create a public service announcement warning of the risk of distracted driving car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers frequently report on the dangers teens face behind the wheel. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration The Business Journals reports the contest is being sponsored by the National Road Safety Foundation and the National Student Safety Program. The winner will have his or her message played nationwide during National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May, will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will win a trip to Honolulu for the national youth conference in July.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports more than 5,000 teenagers are killed in car accidents each year.

“A quarter of all teens admit to texting behind the wheel and, in 2009, the highest proportion of distracted drivers in fatal crashes was under the age of 20,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We know we have to engage teens in order to put an end to distracted driving. With their help, we can educate teens and adults about making smarter choices that will save lives.”

The “JST DRV” Radio PSA contest seeks 15- or 30-second entries form teens ages 14 to 18. Three runners-up will also receive $500 scholarships and Bluetooth devices.

The contest “hopes to engage young people in communicating important messages about distracted driving in their own voice,” said Michelle Anderson, operations director of the National Road Safety Foundation.

Deadline for entry is March 25, 2011. More information is available at or

If you or family member is injured in an accident, contact the Chicago accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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