NHTSA encourages teens to speak up about distracted driving

April 25, 2012

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced a contest to encourage teens to speak up when riding in a car with a distracted driver.

NHTSA conducted a phone survey (.pdf file) of 6,000 drivers 18 and older on distracted driving. Researchers found that younger people were less likely to speak up when in a vehicle operated by a person talking on a cell phone. One-third of passengers ages 18-20 and 21-24 would say something to a person who was driving while talking on a cell phone, while about half of passengers 65 and older would speak up, survey results indicated.

For the contest, teens are invited to create and submit an icon illustrating an anti-distracted driving message that can be shared on social networking sites. NHTSA said the icon will serve as a helpful icebreaker for young drivers struggling to speak up to others about the dangers of distracted driving.

Submissions will be accepted until July 31 for children between the ages of 13 and 18.