Teen challenge could reduce the number of Chicago car accidents involving teen drivers

Safety advocates are challenging teenagers to create a public service announcement aimed at reminding young drivers of the dangers of using cell phones or text messaging while driving.

As we reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, a new study by Seventeen Magazine suggests that teenagers understand the dangers but ignore the risks. Officials hope speaking to them in their own language will help reduce the risk of Chicago car accidents and traffic crashes caused by teen drivers throughout the country.

The “National Two-Second Turnoff Day Video Challenge” will encourage young drivers to take two seconds to turn off their cell phone before climbing behind the wheel — about the same amount of time it takes to get into an accident by taking their eyes off the road.

The challenge runs from Aug. 2 to Sept. 10 and the winning video will be aired during National Two Second Turnoff Day on Sept. 17. The video will also be part of the national Distracted Driving Summit scheduled for Sept. 21.

A teen driver entry form is available here.

“One in four teen drivers say they’ve texted behind the wheel, and that’s a trend we’ve got to confront head on,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This contest is an innovative and fun way to get teens involved in spreading the word about the importance of keeping their eyes on the road – and off their phones.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 6,000 motorists are killed and more than 500,000 are injured each year in accidents caused by distracted drivers.

“Eighty-Six percent of teens know that distracted driving is dangerous-and they do it anyway,” says Ann Shoket, editor in chief of Seventeen Magazine. “This contest helps teens hammer the real danger of driving while distracted to prevent accidents and save lives.”

A total of 164 motorists were killed in Illinois car accidents involving young drivers in 2008, according to government statistics.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Abels & Annes for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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