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Competition seeks input from teens about the dangers of distracted driving car accidents in South Florida

Young drivers are being asked to prepare and submit public service announcements about the dangers of text messaging and using a cell phone while driving. Authorities hope the messages by teenagers for teenagers will help reduce the dangers of distracted driving. As we continue to report, teenagers are at increased risk of car accidents in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

The winning announcement will debut at National Two-Second Turnoff Day on Sept. 17 and will be featured at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s second annual Distracted Driving Summit on Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. The Two-Second Turnoff Day encourages teenagers to take two seconds to shut off their cell phones before getting behind the wheel — about the same amount of time it takes a distracted driver to cause a serious or fatal accident.

As our Fort Myers accident attorneys recently reported on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, the Sunshine State is one of the few that does not have a law preventing teenagers from text messaging or using a cell phone while driving.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for young drivers ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide, an estimated 6,000 motorists are killed and 500,000 are injured in distracted driving accidents each year. Only speeding and drunk driving are responsible for more crashes.

Those interested in entering the contest can do so by clicking 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.”

Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds, doubles your risk for a crash, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“AAA is pleased to partner with the Department of Transportation and Seventeen magazine in a unique viral campaign that is certain to engage young people and encourage them to spread the word about how simple it is to prevent the dangerous practice of driving while distracted,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet.