A Chance to Help Save Lives

08/12/2010 05:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Ray LaHood United States Secretary of Transportation

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, taking your eyes off the road for only two seconds doubles your crash risk. But it also takes only two seconds to turn off your phone and other devices when getting behind the wheel. Yet, in 2008, nearly 6,000 people were killed in distraction-related car accidents.

A recent edition of USA Today cites a Seventeen Magazine/AAA survey indicating that 9 out of 10 teens "continue to drive distracted even when they recognize the dangers of doing so." So I'm trying to get young people in particular to put these devices aside.

That's one reason why DOT is teaming up with Seventeen and AAA on a new Video Challenge. Now, I know that many of the visitors to this site are older than Seventeen's target audience, but that doesn't mean you can't play a part in this important campaign.

We're asking young people across America to shoot their own videos against distracted driving and post them on YouTube by September 10. Do some brainstorming; grab a camera; and tell America's drivers why they should take the critical two seconds to shut off their mobile devices before driving.

Then tell your friends about it. The best video will win a $2,000 prize and be featured on,, and at our Distracted Driving Summit on September 21. But you get points for popularity, so get that video in front of some eyes!

Please visit to see the complete rules.