The Importance of the Youth’s Participation in Road Safety Campaigns of the Government

teen drivingEvery year, more and more young drivers are getting involved in different car crashes. According to the studies made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the leading cause of crashes among drivers from different age groups is distracted driving.

As it is, driving needs your undivided attention. Losing your focus, even for a split-second can get you into trouble.

Distracted driving has been one of the main causes of the accident cases that he has handled. In these cases, the driver of the vehicle at fault ends up paying a huge of sum of money to settle complaints or as payment for the damages caused by the crash after they have been settled.

Apparently, there are a great number of legislations enacted by various states that aim to lessen, if not to eradicate, distracted driving. However, it is the education, awareness, and active participation from the citizens that can help stop accidents brought about by distracted driving.

The question is, how can we get our youth more involved in promoting safety in the use of our roads? Leave it to the people in the U.S. Department of Transportation to come up with clever ways just to do that.

The Department of Transportation’s Campaign

Recently, the agency has held the “Text & Wreck” challenge where people are encouraged to take its Distracted Driving Design Challenge. This challenge was created to ask invited teens to come up with an original icon with an anti-distracted driving message. The same would then be shared to various social media outfits such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. This program also aims to help raise awareness among our young drivers of the dangers of texting or calling while behind the wheel.

The winner of the challenge is a 13-year-old from Sanford, Florida, Hah’mari Watson. Selected by Secretary LaHood, this will be incorporated into US DOT’s distracted driving campaign in its site, Distraction.gov. A freshman at Seminole High school in Sanford, Watson and his family were involved in a minor car crash two years ago because of a distracted teen driver that was texting while behind the wheel. They were not seriously injured in the accident but it made him realize how a moment of distraction can cause real destruction. Watson said “I hope my design will help other young people realize just how dangerous it is to text and drive at the same time.”

During the first-ever Florida Distracted Driving Summit in Tampa, Fla., Secretary LaHood unveiled the winning entry while delivering his keynote address. This event is a gathering of federal, state, and local officials, law enforcement, traffic safety experts, physicians, and businesses that are working together to lessen distracted driving in the state.

Now that the icon for the program has been chosen, the bigger challenge begins—the implementation of the whole project. This challenge is not an easy task. If anything, Watson’s winning entry is a great statement that by actively participating in these programs by the government, we can all work together to ensure the safety of our roads.

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