New York Central Mutual Insurance of Edmeston is hoping student made videos will convince young people to focus on developing their safe driving skills, and save lives, and they are willing to pay big money for the best videos.

A new contest by NYCM is aimed squarely at high school students in New York. This is the second year NYCM has conducted the video production contest. The prizes for winners include $15,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place. A special prize of $500 is being offered to the student producer who can garner the most ‘Likes’ of their video on the NYCM Facebook page. All prize money will awarded to the school where the students attend.

It is no secret that traffic collisions remain the leading cause of death for teenagers. There is also evidence that the majority of distracted driving crashes and fatalities are also attributed to young drivers. This is likely a case of cause and effect as teens are the biggest users of smartphones and handheld devices and coupled with their experience behind the wheel are more at-risk for being involved in a distracted driving crash.

The NYCM video contest seems a great way to not only increase awareness f driving safety among teens and students, but to also engage them in getting the message out to their friends. Peer pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When your friends are pressuring you to do something bad, peer pressure is bad. But when that same peer pressure is emphasizing something good, like giving blood, donating to charity or driving safely, then peer pressure is good.

This new program from NYCM is only in its second year so it is difficult to determine exactly how much impact it will have on teen driving driving behaviors in the area. But at this point, if it can move the numbers in a positive way just by saving one life, we at My Improv it is very much worth the time and effort.