May 9, 2008

Children’s Hospital awareness campaign targets teen driving safety

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(photo by Neil Brake)

Children’s Hospital awareness campaign targets teen driving safety

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has partnered with Ford Motor Company, Fox17, CW58 and MyTV30, The Governor's Highway Safety Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Westfield Insurance to build a campaign to raise awareness of teenage driving safety issues.

According to Mary Kate Mouser, director of Children's Health Improvement and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, and one teenager is injured every 15 minutes in motor vehicle crashes.

“The vast majority of these incidents involve typical factors such as speeding, talking on cell phones, nighttime driving, teen passengers, low seat belt use and alcohol impairment,” Mouser said.

“To increase awareness among teenage drivers about these common risk factors, we developed an opportunity for teenagers to create a commercial that would get the message across best to other teenagers using a peer-to-peer approach.”

A competition was created for Middle Tennessee high school students to produce their own safe driving Public Service Announcement to help promote teen driving safety and raise awareness on the dangers of driving.

Four finalists from 16 schools and 23 entries were selected. Voting ends May 10. To vote on the entries, visit

Finalists are: University School of Nashville, "Confessions;" John Overton High School, "Watch Your Speed;" Ezell-Harding Christian School, "Leaders for Speeders;" and Middle College High School, "Hip Hop."

The winning PSA will debut during the finale of “American Idol” on May 21, and will air on Fox17, CW58 and MyTV30 during June.