Car crashes are the no. 1 cause of teen deaths and the fast-approaching summer months prove to be the deadliest. In advance of National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May, The Allstate Foundation and National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) are partnering with TV star and singer Victoria Justice to encourage young adults to Act Out Loud for stronger teen driving laws.
Justice asks teens to visit Facebook.com/ActOutLoud to create an Act Out Loud Yearbook from now until May 6.
“On average, 11 teens die every day in car crashes – and that’s far too many,” said Justice. “As a teen myself, I want to make sure my friends and I come home safely each and every day. Through Act Out Loud, we can work together to make an impact and help stop this deadly epidemic.”
By creating an Act Out Loud Yearbook, teens share a message that they intend to drive safe, and hope their friends do the same to ensure they continue creating memories for years to come. In addition, they have the opportunity to do more by writing Congress and voicing their support for stronger teen driving laws. Research shows that stronger teen driving laws can save about 2,000 lives each year.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes,” said Sandy Spavone, executive director, NOYS. “The Act Out Loud program gives teens the tools to effectively spread the safe driving message among their peers in an effort to help save lives.”
The Act Out Loud Yearbook gives teens a voice on an issue that impacts them every single day. To recognize teens’ activism and sharing through their networks, every teen that makes an Act Out Loud Yearbook, along with their 10 featured friends, will be entered for a chance to win $1,000 each.
“Teen driving deaths are a real public health crisis,” said Vicky Dinges, vice president of public social responsibility at Allstate. “What’s worse is that these deaths are preventable. We can take very simple, common sense steps that will protect young drivers across the country. It is our hope that through Act Out Loud, we are ensuring that no teen has to deal with the loss of a friend or a loved one because of a car crash.”
In its fifth year, Act Out Loud is a national, school-based competition that enlists teens to raise local awareness about the importance of stronger teen driver safety laws. In states that have strong graduated driver licensing laws (GDL), teen crash fatalities decrease by up to 40 percent. Since the program started, hundreds of thousands of teens have been encouraged to Act Out Loud and help their friends and family drive safely.
The winners of the Act Out Loud Facebook contest will be announced in May 2012 as part of National Youth Traffic Safety Month (NYTSM).