Our streets and freeways are coming back to life after having been empty for months. And right now, we are at the end of the season known as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Add to that the excitement of back-to-school and socializing with friends beyond the virtual connections enforced by stay-at-home orders. It’s the perfect storm for poor decision making and inattentive driving by many 16 to 19-year-olds.
While COVID-19 poses a threat to our communities, teenagers are nearly four times more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.
One of the biggest contributors to this “other” growing pandemic is distracted driving. Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, mind off driving, or keeps ears from being alert to surroundings.
Did you know that reckless and distracted driving is the number one killer of young people?
Recognizing the need to proactively address these 100 percent preventable crashes – mistakenly called accidents – Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) launched a Create Real Impact Creative Contest. The contest hinges on the idea that needless teen deaths can be avoided if young people are given a platform to – in their own words – urge their peers to adopt safer driving attitudes and avoid the tragic result of bad choices behind the wheel. This year’s Fall Create Real Impact Contest gives educators and students a chance to win their share of $27,000.
Here’s How it Works:
Students, ages 14-22, can submit one entry into one of the four categories — creative writing, video, graphic design, or music — to showcase their original idea for a solution or strategy to end reckless and distracted driving.
Individual Prizes are awarded in a variety of ways:
- $500 to the entry with the most online votes within each category
- $1,500 to the grand prize winner in each category (as determined by CRI judges*)
- $1,500 for a Spanish language award within the video or graphic design category
*Judges will determine the Grand Prize Winners based on the following criteria: 25% concept/creativity, 25% execution of the idea, and 50% effectiveness of the message. Online voting in no way influences the decisions of the panel of judges.
In addition to the individual student winners, high school teachers and advisors are invited to submit a distracted driving social media campaign developed and implemented by their student leaders. The High School Distracted Driving Social Media Campaign contest gives students the chance to develop critical thinking and rational problem-solving skills through conducting research, advancing technical and creative writing skills, and developing communication with peers and community members across multiple media.
Projects can be developed through distance learning or in-person.
The social media campaign prizes are as follows:
- $10,000 for the first place winner
- $5,000 for second place
- $2,500 for third
- Contest Opens: Monday, August 24, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. (PT)
- Contest Entry Deadline: Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. (PT)
- Online Voting Begins: Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. (PT)
- Online Voting Closes: Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. (PT)
- Grand Prize Winners and Top Online Vote Getter Winners will be announced by the week of November 23-27, 2020
No one understands teens the way their peers do. By leveraging their creativity to spread resonant messaging on safer driving and better decision-making behind the wheel, young people can be a powerful force in reducing needless teen deaths.