Avrek Law Firm has announced the launch of the DriveSafe Scholarship Contest, a 501c viral video contest on the dangers of distracted driving awarding $9,000 in scholarship funds, with first prize winning $5,000. The Irvine-based law firm wanted to do its part to prevent the lifelong impact that distracted driving accidents can create.
“All of us need to come together, help spread the word and educate each other how dangerous distracted driving is to ourselves, friends, families and community,” said Avrek partner Maryam Parmen.
Videos will be posted on YouTube and can be any format: journalistic, documentary, PSA, song, sketch or compilation. Ten finalists will be chosen and a panel of judges will determine the top three, awarding a first prize $5,000 scholarship, second prize $2,500 scholarship, and third prize $1500 scholarship.
Non-students can also win prizes such as Visa gift cards by participating in the referral contest by sharing the DriveSafe webinar. This is a points-based contest where participants can earn points by simply sharing the Avrek contest link across social media channels so more people are exposed to the dangers of distracted driving.
There are three types of distractions that drivers face: manual, visual and cognitive. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road when texting. It may sound like a short amount of time, but if traveling at 55 mph, five seconds is enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
Texting is a major visual distraction, but it’s not the only visual distraction that takes a driver’s eyes off of the road. Whether you are driving slowly through a residential area or speeding down the interstate, it is absolutely crucial to have your eyes on the road at all times.
Most drivers don’t think, for instance, that it’s dangerous to eat or drink while driving, but approximately 80% of all car accidents and 65% of near misses can be blamed on a distracted driver who was more focused on what was going in their mouth then what was happening on the road, according to the National Highway Safety Administration.
There are many ways to prevent distracted driving, such as turning off your phone when driving and only using it for emergencies when you’re on the road. Keeping your phone out of sight by putting it in the glove box, purse or backpack while driving can ensure you’re not tempted to text or go online while you’re driving. Additionally, you can use the AT&T Drivemode application, which is free and lets you set up auto-replies that are sent to incoming texts, e-mails and calls, so you can keep your focus on the road.
“In California, a state with over 22 million licensed drivers navigating crowded freeways on a daily basis, it is inevitable that the motorist to your right, left, in front of you or behind may be distracted and your life may be at risk. In the effort to make roads safer and eliminate distracted driving, California takes cell phone bans seriously,” said Parmen.
In California, all drivers are banned from using handheld cell phones. The ban, enacted in 2009, has been successful in decreasing the number of fatal accidents involving a cell phone.
Entries are due by September 30. To register or for more information, visit www.avrek.com/scholarships.