Chicago Auto Show Blog

Young Drivers Know Consequences of Distracted Driving, But That Doesn’t Stop Them

Posted by: Julie Piatek

Bridgestone Americas recently surveyed 200 young drivers aged 16-21 on their smartphones about distracted driving.  The problem is not that texting and driving ads are not reaching teens, it is that even though they know the consequence, many still continue to partake in some sort of distracted driving. 

The survey revealed that eight out of 10 teens say that texting and driving is more dangerous than skydiving, yet young drivers are 50 times more likely to text and drive than sky dive.  

More than half of the group that was surveyed admitted to occasionally texting and driving, but only under certain circumstances, such as the car being stopped at a red light, or when they are alone in the car. 

Seventy percent of young drivers admit they are likely to text and drive if they are at a red light, and sixty percent say they have texted while driving while alone in the car.  Thirty-seven percent said they have texted while driving when they have been with friends, and 10 percent said that had while with their parents.

A positive statistic is that 70 percent of those surveyed have asked a friend or parent to stop texting and driving, and more than a third of teens have admitted that someone else has told them to stop texting and driving.

The most common texts that were sent behind the wheel according to those who were surveyed were about how they were running late, or trying to coordinate plans. 

Bridgestone Americas have educated teenagers and young adults about the importance of safe driving for more than a decade. In order to continue awareness about distracted driving the Teen Smart video contest is accepting video entries until June 19.  Participants ages 16-21 are encouraged to create a short automotive safety-themed video that motivates their peers to make better decisions while driving. 

The top 10 videos are posted online for the public to vote on.  The top three videos that receive the most votes will win college scholarships: first place receives $20,000; second place receives $10,000 and third place receives $5,000. Each Teens Drive Smart video contest winner will also have the chance to have his or her video used as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations across the United States.

Here are the contest details:

* Videos must be 25 or 55 seconds in length.  
* Entrants can submit their videos now through June 19 on the
* A panel of judges will select 10 finalists based on the following criteria: how well the video compels viewers to be more safety-conscious when using their vehicles and how well the video effectively and creatively communicates its message.
* The 10 finalist videos will be posted on the Teens Drive Smart website, in addition to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook on July 14. The general public will then select the top three winners through online voting.
* Official rules with complete entry, eligibility and prize details are available at



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