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Ditch the Distraction Video Contest

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Several partners in the roadway construction industry have teamed up to create a contest aimed at raising the awareness of distracted driving among teenage drivers in Iowa. To start their campaign, the group is holding a video production competition with $2,000 in total prize money to be awarded to the top five public service announcement (PSA) videos submitted by teens.

The intent of this contest is to get high school students thinking about the dangers of distractions while driving and to promote greater awareness of the resulting facts and statistics. Creating a short (approximately 30 second) video that can be shared on social media channels is an excellent opportunity for creative teens. This project can be accomplished as a class project, with friends or individually.

Distracted driving is any activity that takes the driver's attention away from the primary task at hand while driving a vehicle.

In recent research conducted at the University of Iowa, among teens in moderate to severe rear-end crashes, more than 75% of drivers were observed engaging in a potentially distracting behavior. The most frequently seen driver behaviors were cell phone use, looking for a location outside the vehicle, and attending to passengers. Drivers using a cell phone had a significantly longer response time than drivers not engaged in any behaviors, while those attending to passengers did not. Additionally, in about 50% of the rear-end crashes where the driver was operating/looking at a phone (e.g., texting), the driver showed no driver response (i.e., braking or steering input) before impact, compared to 10% of crashes where the driver was attending to a passenger.

Students can learn more about the contest by visiting ditchthedistraction.com.