Austin Mahone may be a teen idol, but he's also a teenager himself, which means driving around with his friends happens pretty often -- but he wants to be safe about it.
Mahone partnered with the Allstate Foundation in the spring, launching the #GetThereSafe Challenge. To demonstrate smart driving and to enter the challenge, Mahone wants teens to upload photos of themselves or their destination (after they arrive safely, of course!) and select a specific driving behavior hashtag – #slowdown, #seatbelt and #nodistractions via the free #GetThereSafe app.
"I’m fairly new on the road and I wanted to tell teens that it’s cool to not be on your phone when you’re driving because it is very dangerous," Mahone tells Billboard. "I know how it is, always wanting to be on Instagram and Twitter, and the car is just not the place for it, because it’s the number one killer of teens in America. I just wanted to send that message to all the teens out there to let them know that it’s cool to wait until you get where you’re going."
As for what teens should do if they see their friends texting and driving. Mahone is straightforward: "If you’re a good friend, just take their phone. You’re putting not only yourself in danger but everyone else in the car in danger."
Mahone is so serious about this message that in addition to his partnership with Allstate, he's participating in a very exciting contest. For each of those #GetThereSafe tweets, teens are entered in a contest, and one randomly drawn participant will get a meet-and-greet at their school with Mahone this fall. Readers can learn more about the contest, which ends Friday, Aug. 8, at www.teensgettheresafe.com.
In the meantime, Mahone is on tour, and also thinking about this weekend's Teen Choice Awards, where he's up for five awards. "There’s not any one I’m hoping to win," Mahone tells Billboard. "Just as long as hopefully I get to take one home -- that’d be awesome."