When you’re a teenager, driving seems like the coolest thing ever (and to be honest, it kind of is). Turning 16 and getting your license is your first step towards independence and adulthood. To put things in mathematical terms, Driving = Freedom.
But, just like Spider-man learns, with power comes great responsibility. As eager as you may be to jump behind the wheel, driving is serious business. Cars are big and heavy and powerful and, well, dangerous—which is why it’s up to you to stay safe. Victoria Justice has recently joined forces with the Allstate Foundation and the National Organizations for Youth Safety’s Act Out Loud campaign, which encourages teens to buckle up, put their phones away and generally be safe behind the wheel.
“I learned some statistics [about car accidents] that I found really shocking. It really affected me,” Victoria tells Popstar! “For example, 11 teens die in car crashes daily and car crashes are the number one cause of death amongst teens. These upcoming summer months, which are supposed to be when teens are having fun and going to the beach and hanging out with their friends, are actually the deadliest times for teens behind the wheel. So hearing all those stats really took me by surprise and made me wanna get involved and I wanted to be able to use my voice to reach teens and kids and let them know that we need to be safe when we’re on the road.”
Vic tells Popstar! that her interest in joining Act Out Loud was spurred in part by a scary personal experience. “I was in a car crash once with my mom,” she reveals. “We were on the freeway, and it’s a really scary experience. I can’t imagine a teenager being a new driver and being behind the wheel and having that happen to you. I mean, it would be devastating and so scary!”
While accidents are common, they are NOT avoidable. Victoria reminds us, “There are ways to prevent accidents, though. For example, texting while driving I think is a huge distraction, so I wanna encourage teens to not do that. And also, if they’re in the car with someone who’s texting while driving or making a phone call or if you don’t think they’re as focused on the road as they could be, just… you have to speak up and let them know your opinion.”
Here’s a video from Victoria for Act Out Loud:
For more info and safety tips, head to ActOutLoud.org!