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Drive Safe Chicago Contest Invites Teens to Help Spread Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The Chicago Auto Show partnered again with The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), a nonprofit group that promotes safe driving behavior, to launch the fifth annual Drive Safe Chicago contest. Teens from Chicagoland and neighboring states are invited to submit ideas for a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) on the dangers of distracted driving. Three finalists will be selected and an Emmy Award-winning director will come to the finalists' schools to help them develop TV PSAs, one of which will be selected to air on 150 TV stations nationwide. The winning PSA will also be featured at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show which runs Feb. 9-18 at McCormick Place.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, according to the CDC. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 5,000 people are killed every year due to drowsy driving, and nearly 500,000 more are injured.

"Young people need more sleep than adults, yet too many of them don't get enough sleep," said NRSF Director of Operations Michelle Anderson. "They think they can function and drive on minimal sleep, but they can't. The Drive Safe Chicago contest is a way for teens to get important drowsy driving messages out to their peers and to all drivers."

Teens who live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa are invited to enter by sending a script or storyboards for a TV ad that reminds people not to drive drowsy. Entries must be received by Jan. 8, 2019.

The Drive Safe Chicago grand prize winner will receive $2,000 in addition to having their PSA air on 150 TV stations on the nationally syndicated "Teen Kids News." The first runner-up will receive $1,000 and the second runner-up gets $500.

"We look forward to seeing creative messages about drowsy driving from young people who enter the Drive Safe Chicago contest," said Ray Scarpelli Jr., 2019 Chicago Auto Show chairman. "Today's new cars have technology to warn drivers if they appear to be drowsy, but the ultimate responsibility to be awake and alert is with the driver. It is an important message not only for young people, but for all drivers."

The 2018 Drive Safe Chicago grand prize winner was Haynen Johnson of Valparaiso, Indiana. His winning PSA can be viewed at

Information about drowsy driving and the Drive Safe Chicago contest, including rules and entry form, is found at For more information on the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, please visit, or watch this promotional video.


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