You know how parents tell you all kinds of things and they mean them, but maybe they don’t always live them, all the time? Well, my parents aren’t perfect. They talk to us a lot about things, like drugs, and who our friends are, and all kinds of important things. They preach to us ALL THE TIME not to text and drive. ALL THE TIME. My Mom is pretty good about telling up to quiet down, or she’ll make my turn down my music if she’s trying to concentrate on her driving.
That is why I freaked out when one day while stopped at a light she grabbed her phone to check her messages. One thing my Mom has told me about driving is that although it appears easy, you must always be alert and pay attention. Even at a light. Because there is a chance that someone else is distracted and might hit you. What you think might “just be a text” might not be. Check out this video.
This video gave me chills. Because it’s so right. What if it’s not just a text? What if it’s a moment that changes your or someone else life, forever?
What’s really cool is that video was made by a teen, just like me. Marlowe Lexvold a high school student from South Haven, Minnesota who made the video for Project Yellow Light. Project Yellow Light is a national contest and scholarship program that asks students to create short videos teaching other students how dangerous it is to use mobile devices while driving. Marlowe won the grand prize with her video going on to become a Public Service Announcement along with a $5000 college schlorship.
There were a bunch of winning videos. Go watch them. Then come back and tell me that you think driving distracted is ok.
Distracted driving kills! According to a 2013 NHTSA report, ten percent of all drivers aged 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. To help spread the students message about distracted driving, NHTSA, along with the Ad Council is turning winning videos into public service advertisements, which will be distributed to more than 1,600 media outlets nationwide.
“Distracted driving is deadly and young drivers are most at risk, so we need to make sure they get the message,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “The Project Yellow Light contest, which uses peer-to-peer messaging, demonstrates how creative public awareness efforts can reduce distracted driving on our roads.”
Marlowe wasn’t the only winner. There were High School and College categories. High School Second Place went to Aneyza Clark of Dallas, Texas with a $2000 scholarship and third place to Ryan Robert Reid of Fairburn, Georgia with a $1000 scholarship. The college grand prize winners were brothers Sam and Wrenn Senser from South Bend, Nebraska, ($5000) and second place Lindsey Brown of Culver City, California, ($2000) and third place Tiago DeSouza of Hagerstown, Maryland. ($1000). All scholarships were provided by Mazda Motorsports. U-Haul will also provide both first place winners with up to $2,500 in moving expenses.
The thing is, studies have shown over and over again that distracted driving kills kids our ages. In Connecticut, where I live, even when I get my license, I’m not allowed to drive in a car with ANYONE ELSE, for at least 6 months unless it’s my parents or someone over the age of 20 who has had their license for 4 years. There are restrictions after that, as well. I’m not allowed to use a cell phone, even hands free, until I’m 18! They are serious about distracted driving. We all need to take it seriously. And a great big shout out to other teens working hard to make a difference!