According to NHTSA, the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers falls into the under-20 age group. In 2009, 16% of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.
A 2010 study conducted by AAA and Seventeen Magazine reveals that teens admit to sending a monthly average of 23 texts each month while driving. And of course, 35% of those teens who drive while distracted don't think they'll get hurt.
Because educating young teens about safe driving is a high priority, right now there are two distracted driving scholarship programs accepting video entries to raise awareness in this age group, with prizes to the winning entries that can be worth thousands of dollars!
Project Yellow Light has created a scholarship program in which high school and college students can create a video to encourage their friends to avoid distracted driving. Now in its third year, the scholarship honors the memory of 16-year-old Hunter Garner, who died in a car crash in 2007.
Applicants have one clear mission: create a 25- or 55-second video to persuade their peers to develop and embrace safe driving habits.
For both the high school and college contests, the first-place winner will receive a scholarship in the amount of $5,000, each second-place finisher will receive $2,000, and each third-place finisher will receive $1,000. In addition to a scholarship, the winning video will be turned into an Ad Council PSA and will be distributed nationally to 1,600 television stations. The top two winners will also earn the opportunity to attend a one-day survival skills class at the Skip Barber Racing School.
You can find examples of of previous entries into the contest at the Project Yellow Light YouTube channel. This year's entry period ends on March 17, 2014; find out more about the application process at Project Yellow Light.
Toyota Teen Driver
Because the first year after a teen gets their license will be one of the most dangerous years of their life, Toyota and Discovery Education have teamed up to create the Toyota Teen Driver program to help them avoid distractions and stay safe while driving. The comprehensive program provides educational tools and resources for teens, parents, and educators to help young drivers be safer during their first year behind the wheel.
Toyota’s program also includes a video contest that encourages students who are enrolled in 9th through 12th grade and who are at least 13 years old to create a video that would encourage their friends to drive safely and think twice about making bad decisions behind the wheel. The video must be between 60 and 90 seconds, and be uploaded it to YouTube by Thursday March 13th.
The first-place winner will receive $15,000 and the chance to work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot their video into a TV-ready PSA! The second-place winner will receive $10,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip for two to a Discovery Channel Velocity show. The third-place winner receives $7,500.
The top ten finalists will be added to an online poll for the public to determine the Top 3 Winners. The winners will be announced in May 2014. You can see examples of previous winners in the contest archive. Get complete rules at ToyotaTeenDriver.com