CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2017 -- The National Road Safety Foundation and the organizers of the Chicago Auto Show are asking area teens for help getting the word out about the dangers of distracted driving, which is responsible for more than 3,300 traffic fatalities every year. The fourth annual Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest invites teens in Chicago, Illinois and neighboring states to submit ideas for a 30-second public service announcement about distracted driving. Deadline for entries is Jan. 8, 2018.

Three finalists will be selected and an Emmy Award-winning director will come to their schools to work with them to develop their ideas into finished TV public service spots. The public will then be invited to cast votes online to select the winner, who will get a $2,000 prize. The winning spot will debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show before airing on more than 150 TV stations nationwide. The first runner-up will receive $1,000 and the second runner-up gets $500.

Teens who live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa are invited to enter by sending a script or storyboard for a 30-second TV ad that reminds people not to drive distracted. Entries must be received by Jan. 8, 2018. All entrants will receive two free tickets to the Chicago Auto Show. Information about distracted driving and the Drive Safe Chicago Contest, including contest rules and entry form, can be seen at www.nrsf.org/teenlane/contests/drive-safe-chicago.

"Even as today's cars have technical innovations that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in the event of one, distracted driving continues to be a major risk for drivers," said 2018 Chicago Auto Show Chairman John Hennessy. "We are pleased to have the Drive Safe Chicago contest engage young people as messengers to their peers and to all drivers that distracted driving is dangerous driving."

"Driving requires full attention, with eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and your mind on driving," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation. "We hope Drive Safe Chicago makes people of all ages -- not only teens -- realize that driving is not something that can be multi-tasked." Texting and cell phone use get the most attention, but drivers can be distracted by many other things including use of other mobile devices like GPS, adjusting sound system controls, eating and talking with passengers.

Last year's winner was Hannah Christy, a high school junior from Crown Point, Ind. Her PSA, which can be viewed at http://nrsf.org/sites/default/files/winner_too_tired_too_drive_converted.mp4, shows a sleep-deprived teen as she drives to school, struggling to keep her eyes open. She dozes and misses a stop sign, and the screen goes black as we hear sounds of a crash. The spot closes with the words "Driving Drowsy can be a Nightmare."

Information about distracted driving and the Drive Safe Chicago Contest, including contest rules and entry form, can be seen at http://www.nrsf.org/teenlane/content/drive-safe-chicago.

The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America, spanning more than one million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North American vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2.5 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2018 public show will be Feb. 10-19. For more information, visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com or www.Facebook.com/ChicagoAutoShow.

The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded more than 55 years ago, produces traffic safety programs on distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency, pedestrian safety and a host of other safety issues. It distributes the programs free of charge to schools, police and traffic safety advocates, community groups and individuals. It also sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit www.nrsf.org or www.teenlane.org.