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Teen participation in distracted driving initiative could reduce risk of Fort Lauderdale car accidents

With school set to begin and new information that suggests teen drivers routinely ignore the dangers of distracted driving, our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers urge parents to speak with their kids about the dangers posed by poor driving decisions.

A recent study conducted by Seventeen Magazine found that nearly 90 percent of teenagers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving — including the use of a cell phone and text messaging while behind the wheel — yet nearly 90 percent engage in such dangerous driving behaviors anyway.

In response, Seventeen Magazine and the U.S. Department of Transportation are teaming up with a campaign to encourage teens to create a catchy public-service video that will be used to promote safe driving on National Two-Second Turnoff Day, scheduled for September 17.

Government safety officials will also feature the video during the national distracted driving summit, which is scheduled for that week in Washington D.C. As we reported on our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, the summit will likely increase the pressure on states like Florida that have done nothing to prohibit teens from text messaging or using cell phones while driving.

“One in four teen drivers say they’ve texted behind the wheel, and that’s a trend we’ve got to confront head on,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This contest is an innovative and fun way to get teens involved in spreading the word about the importance of keeping their eyes on the road – and off their phones.”

The campaign is aimed at getting teens to take two seconds to turn off their phone before getting behind the wheel — about the same amount of time safety advocates say it takes to get into an accident by taking your eyes off the road.

“Eighty-Six percent of teens know that distracted driving is dangerous—and they do it anyway,” says Ann Shoket, editor in chief of Seventeen Magazine, citing a Seventeen/AAA 2010 survey. “This contest helps teens hammer the real danger of driving while distracted to prevent accidents and save lives.”

Teens can download an application here.

Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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