We've got a full slate for our upcoming Distracted Driving Summit. From researchers to advocates to safety organizations, we are coming at this issue from all possible angles.
And one approach that has been much on my mind is America's teens. Today's edition of USA Today cites a Seventeen Magazine / AAA survey indicating that 9 out of 10 teens "continue to drive distracted even when they recognize the dangers of doing so."
We're asking young people across America to shoot their own PSAs against distracted driving and post them on YouTube by September 10. Then tell your friends about it. The best video will win a $2,000 prize and be featured on Seventeen.com, AAAExchange.com, Distraction.gov and at our Distracted Driving Summit on September 21.
Please visit www.seventeen.com/twosecond to see the complete rules.
Now, I know the average reader of this blog is not a teenager. So I'm asking readers to go out and tell your kids and your friends' kids about the challenge. Share it with your neighborhood listserv and PTA newsgroup. Talk it up with the young people at your local pool or ballfield.
Yes, it's a challenge to young people, but you can do your part to make it happen!
Now, Seventeen Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket has been a great partner in our campaign against distracted driving. At last year's summit, she chaired our youth panel. And this year, Seventeen is launching the National Two-Second Turnoff Day.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, taking your eyes off the road for only two seconds doubles your crash risk. But it also takes only two seconds to turn off the phone before getting behind the wheel. So, on September 17, Seventeen is urging people across the country to take the necessary two-seconds to shut those devices off before driving.
And if you think this is not an important issue for the health and well-being of our nation's kids, please take a look at the video below from WUSA Channel 9, here in Washington.
There's a reason I'm on a rampage about this. There's a reason we're holding our second National Distracted Driving Summit. There's a reason we're asking people to take the two seconds to turn off their devices. And there's a reason we're reaching out to America's youth to help spread the word.
We're trying to save lives.