- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Victoria Justice, star of Nickelodeon’s Victorious, is teaming up with The Allstate Foundation, a charitable organization, to promote Act Out Loud, an organization aimed at creating a safer driving world for teens. According to statistics, car crashes are the number one cause of teenage deaths in America. Nearly 11 teens die a day from car crashes and it was this statistic that influenced Victoria to use her celebrity for a good cause. The teenage actress and singing sensation is taking a stand to 'Act Out Loud' to promote safer driving. Victoria took a moment to talk with TheCelebrityCafe.com to tell us how we can Act Out Loud.
TheCelebrityCafe: What was your drive to take a stand and help to create a safer driving world for teens?
Victoria Justice: When I heard the statistics that 11 teens die in car crashes daily and that car crashes are the number one cause of death amongst teens - that freaked me out. Being a teen and someone who is going to be on the road, driving by myself soon, and I have a younger sister who is 15 years old who is going to be getting her driver’s license soon, I wanted to be able to use my voice to reach the audience that I have right now to be able to spread a safe message and try to get people to take driving more seriously, and be more responsible while behind the wheel.
TCC: Can you tell me about your involvement with Act Out Loud?
VJ: I’m basically encouraging teens everywhere to drive safely. I was just in New York and did a big satellite press tour conference and that was really good to help spread the message. I’ve been tweeting and Facebooking about it and I wont to encourage everyone to visit Facebook so they can make their own Yearbook page of them and their top 10 tagged friends. From there, they will be entered to win $1,000 each which is $11,000 total for the winner and each of their friends. It’s a really great prize and it’s a great way to spread a positive message about safe teen driving through social media. It’s something really cool and I think everyone should get involved and stay safe.
TCC What sort of reactions have you gotten from your own fans since becoming the face of such a great cause?
VJ: My fans have been really excited that I’m trying to spread this message. I think the information that I have shared so far, like for example tweeting about these statistics that 11 teens are dying daily and that summer months, starting with May are the deadliest times for teens to be behind the wheel, they are the most dangerous and it really impacts a lot of the people I’m reaching. That’s the most important thing that I’m making an impact and helping to make a difference.
TCC: Reading up on ActOutLoud, I see that it encourages teens to engage in traffic safety projects. Can you give me an example of projects you have seen so far, or ones that you feel are most effective?
VJ: Definitely. The Facebook/ActOutLoud is a fantastic project, the prize is incredible and I think it’s really going to spread the message out there between teens and their friends. I think encouraging the Act Out Loud program and the National Organization for Youth Safety and The Allstate Foundation to encourage teens to spread the word and to speak up amongst their friends and to write to Congress about teen driving safety laws and, I’m just so passionate about this issue and if they personally experience something or if their friend has gone through something having to do with this, then they should use that passion and channel it in the right direction to help make a difference.
I think my voice is used to just encourage people to, for example, another safety issue is texting and driving. Distracted driving is a huge issue amongst teens. I think sometimes when we’re behind the wheel we tend to think we’re invincible and ‘oh, nothing can happen to us,’ and that’s the wrong mindset to have. I want to encourage teens to be responsible and also, I’m 19 and I don’t quite have my driver’s license yet, and that’s because I’m working so much and I haven’t really had proper time to be practicing and feel confident behind the wheel. I want to encourage other teens that, if you don’t feel ready to drive, even if you’re 3 years past the time you should have had your license, then you shouldn’t be ashamed of that, don’t give into the peer pressure, if you’re not ready, that’s OK. Your safety is the most important thing.
TCC: Many states are coming out and changing the driving age to get their licenses, do you believe that there is a maturity level that teens need to understand goes along with driving?
VJ: Definitely! I think you have to be really responsible. My parents have always taught me that driving is a privilege and I think you definitely have to be mature and responsible. There’s already so many distractions on the road when you’re driving and as teenagers we tend to add even more distractions while in the car, like you could be putting on make-up and sending an occasional text thinking it’s no big deal or having your music up too loud and getting distracted by that or having too many friends in the car, and driving too late at night- I think we should all try and be more mature and more responsible when making those decisions. I always want to encourage that when you’re in the care with someone, whether it be a peer, a friend of yours or even an adult, if they’re texting and driving or making a phone call that’s making you uncomfortable, it’s your responsibility to speak up for yourself and say, politely of course, ‘You know what, that makes me feel really uncomfortable, do you mind…’ and I think that will help make a difference.
For more information, head to the Act Out Loud website. Victoria urges you to recognize May as National Youth Traffic Safety month, the contest ends on Sunday, May 6 so head to Facebook to create your Yearbook with 10 of your friends in order to help support a safer driving world of you and teens nationwide!