Distracted driving is a serious problem, but while more and more teens are seen as the most impacted age group when it comes to the practice, a teen from Anaheim, California is giving others reason to have faith in the younger generation’s willingness to put an end to the madness.
According to a series of news reports, an 18-year-old teen from the Oxford Academy entered a film and media design competition with the idea of having more access to scholarship money, but ended up putting her soul in the project, once she learned that the competition hoped to raise awareness about distracted driving.
The teen, who’s a California resident, entered the home-media design category of the project, winning a $2,000 prize and the opportunity of having her slogan appear on 1,000 billboards across the nation.
The very first billboard to sport the teen’s winning slogan was in New York’s Times Square this past Wednesday. As drivers and pedestrians, foreigners and residents alike walk or drive by the intersection, they are able to see the billboard that reads: “Better left unread than dead.” The message is a strong one. Instead of allowing your inattention to cause you harm, put safety first and focus on the road ahead. That message or email in your phone can wait, but you life can’t.
According to the winner, she became more passionate about the project once she learned that the person the project was dedicated to would have been the same age as her brother now, but due to distracted driving, his life was cut short.
The contest was held with the help of the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council and Project Yellow Light. The teen, whose story inspired the project was 16 at the time of the car accident that claimed his life. To t teen who won the competition, the idea of focusing on texting and driving concerns was the best way to go, giving others like her an idea of how important their lives are.
While teens are some of the most vulnerable drivers out there, mostly because of their lack of self-control when it comes to using their smartphones, drivers in other age groups are also putting their lives in danger. Instead of allowing temptation to win, make sure your phones, and any other electronic you own, are not being used while behind the wheel.
Hopefully, more people will come up with new messages designed to keep drivers from being distracted as inspiring as the one designed by this California teen.