Leading Auto Insurer Sponsors Bizarre Contest

AAA, one of the most prominent names in the US auto insurance industry, is joining forces with the US Department of Transportation and Seventeen Magazine in an effort warn young drivers of the perils of using cell phones while driving. The National Two-Second Turnoff Day Viral Video Challenge gives teenagers the opportunity to fight it out for $2,000 in prize money and this can be won by creating a video that raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Robert Darbelnet, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAA, said “AAA is pleased to partner the Department of Transportation and Seventeen Magazine in a unique viral campaign that is certain to engage young people and encourage them to spread the word about how simple it is to prevent the dangerous practice of driving while distracted”.

AAA already has a series of programs in place to warn of the perils of distracted driving. The Foundation for Traffic Safety already highlights the fact that if a motorist takes his eyes off the road for just a couple of seconds, the likelihood of an accident is massively increased. Somewhat ironically, it only takes the same amount of time to actually turn off a cell phone. Distracted driving continues to be a significant problem on roads and highways across the United States. Cell phone use, changing stations on the radio and the growing popularity of hand-held devices all have repercussions and many of these result in fatal road accidents involving young drivers. In 2008, 20% of all accidents involved a distraction of some kind according to data supplied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.