Clearwater, Florida -- Car crashes are still the number one cause of teenage fatalities in the United States. And the first year a teen drives is the most dangerous.
There's a new approach to teach young drivers the rules of the road--like the dangers of distracted driving--by helping them get excited about the road ahead.
This Saturday, Sept. 15, State Farm is holding a one-day, nationwide event for new drivers called Celebrate My Drive. One of the locations for the event will be on Clearwater Beach, near the Palm Pavilion restaurant, from 11:00am-1:00pm. The event will include free food, drinks, music, games and information to help teenagers become more responsible drivers.
"We realize that first year on the road can be a very dangerous time for teens," said Michal Brower, media specialist for State Farm in Florida. "So we want to make sure they know the community is around them and celebrating them, but also do whatever they can to be safe on the road."
As an incentive to better driving habits, teenagers can win one of 14 2012 Chevy Sonics if they attend the events or register online. They can also help their school win one of 14 grants of $100,000 from State Farm.
"We want to make sure they're very safe when they drive--as in distractions in the vehicles. No texting while driving. Not turning around talking to their friends in the back seat," said Tom Carroll, also from State Farm. "
Teenagers know about the dangers. A new survey from State Farm found that four out of five teenagers will speak up if they're riding with someone who picks up their cell phone when they're driving. Unfortunately, some of those kids continue to text and drive themselves.
Teens can click here to register for the free car, the $100,000 school grant or to find other Celebrate My Drive events in the Bay Area.