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Chicago Auto Show Invites Teens to Help Spread Message About Distracted Driving Dangers


Contact: David Reich
212 573-6000



The National Road Safety Foundation to host Second Drive Safe Chicago Video Contest;Winner Gets $2,000 and works with Emmy-winning director to create PSA that will air nationwide

CHICAGO, Oct. 13, 2015 -- Teens from Chicagoland and neighboring states are being invited to help spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving, as the second Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest launches from The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group that promotes safe driving.  The contest is being held in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show, which runs from Feb. 13 - 21, 2016.

The contest asks teens to submit ideas for a 30-second public service announcement that reminds viewers not to drive distracted.  The winner will receive a $2,000 award and will have the chance to work with an Emmy Award-winning TV producer to turn the script into a finished spot that will air nationwide.  It will debut at the Chicago Auto Show and will be shown on the show's social media video wall throughout the show.

"Distracted driving is a serious risk that needs to be addressed at all levels," said Colin Wickstrom, 2016 Chicago Auto Show chairman.  "Today's cars are safer than ever, with many innovations that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in the event of one.  But driver inattention - distraction - continues to be a major factor in crashes.  We hope the Drive Safe Chicago campaign engages teens to be messengers both to their peers and to all drivers that distracted driving is dangerous driving."

Last year's winner was Rachel Diaz, a junior at Porter County Career Center in Valparaiso, Ind.  Her PSA shows four teens approaching a car.  We see the keys unlocking the door and seat belts being fastened.  As the car drives away, we see and hear the teens talking and laughing loudly.  As the chatter gets louder, we see the teen driver getting distracted and becoming anxious as she tries to concentrate on driving.  We hear the driver's heartbeat getting louder and faster, and we see the driver's eyes getting a frantic look before she shuts her eyes tightly, trying to close out the noise and commotion in the car.  The screen fades to black as all the noise abruptly stops.  Text comes on the screen saying: "Distracted Driving: It's more than Texting."  The "Would you ever?" PSA can be seen at

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates more than 3,300  people are killed every year due to distracted driving, and tens of thousands more are injured.  The most talked-about causes of distraction are texting and cell phone use, but drivers also can be distracted by use of other mobile devices like GPS, as well as adjusting sound system controls, talking with passengers or even eating.

"Anything that takes the driver's eyes off the road and mind off the task at hand is a distraction that can have serious consequences," said Michelle Anderson, Director of Operations at The National Road Safety Foundation.  "Driving requires full attention.  It's not something that can be done safely while multi-tasking." 

Teens who live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa are invited to enter by sending a script or storyboards for a TV PSA that reminds people not to drive distracted.   Entries deadline is Dec. 14, 2016 and the winner will be announced at the Chicago Auto Show.  A runner-up will receive a $1,000 award.  All entrants will receive two free tickets to the Chicago Auto Show.

Information about distracted driving and the Drive Safe Chicago Contest can be seen at


The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that for more than 50 years has been dedicated to reducing crashes, deaths and injuries on our nation's highways by promoting safe driving habits through greater public awareness.

NRSF produces documentaries, educational programs and public service campaigns for broadcast and for use in safety, educational and enforcement programs by police, teachers, traffic safety agencies, healthcare professionals, youth advocacy groups and other grass-roots related agencies, as well as federal, state and local government agencies. NRSF programs, which are free, deal with distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency and pedestrian safety. The Foundation also works with key youth advocacy groups and sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities.  For more information or to download free programs, visit or

The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North America vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2016 public show will be February 13-21. For more information, visit or

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