As a personal injury law firm, Loncar Lyon Jenkins has seen countless car accident victims injured because of the actions of a distracted driver. Nowadays, the most common form of distraction while driving is texting. To help highlight this issue, we started our Distraction-Free Driving PSA Scholarship.
Entrants were tasked with creating a compelling public service announcement highlighting the dangers of distracted driving in order to win a $2,500 prize. This year, University of Maryland, College Park student Annika Pierre Michel has been awarded the scholarship.
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Michel used online resources to create a video that is currently available on YouTube. The PSA opens with a group of young people in a car, with the driver distracted through texts and conversation. After the ensuing wreck, texting and driving statistics flash across the screen before Michel provides the viewer with a few tips on how to avoid distractions while behind the wheel.
Those tips include pulling over to a safe location before operating your phone or using hands-free devices. Short and to the point, her PSA is effective at showcasing the dangers and the sad universality of texting while driving.
Michel on the Making of Her PSA
Annika Pierre Michel is not a maker of PSAs by trade. At school, she is studying finance. “I might want to be a financial advisor or a financial analyst,” she told us during an interview. Still, she realized that texting while driving is a huge concern for everyone in our society, prompting her to take action.
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The most surprising thing Michel learned while creating her PSA is that most people have a sense that car accidents due to distractions are tragedies that will never affect them. “The main thing I learned,” she said, “is that a lot of us think this is something that only happens to others.” Her dive into the statistics of texting while driving, though, revealed that the issue is more widespread than she thought.
Loncar Lyon Jenkins is proud to award Annika Pierre Michel with the 2021 Distraction-Free Driving PSA Scholarship.