Worried about your teen getting behind the wheel? We don't blame you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 280,000 teens in the US are killed or injured in a car accident every year. As a new driver, Austin Mahone knows how important it is to drive safe, and he wants to share his tips with others. The pop singer has teamed up with the Allstate Foundation for the Get There Safe Challenge, a contest that encourages teens to practice smart driving habits. The competition, which runs from today until Aug. 8, requires teens to post photos of themselves arriving safely at their destination using the hashtag #gettheresafe. In addition to practicing better driving habits — wearing a seat belt, obeying the speed limit, and minimizing distractions — participants will also be entered for a chance to win a meet and greet with Mahone during the upcoming school year.
We spoke with the teen sensation to get his tips for staying safe in the car, as well as online.
POPSUGAR: What made you decide to get involved with the Get There Safe program?
Austin Mahone: I'm a new driver as well, and I think it's important for teens to stay safe as far as always having their seat belt on, never getting distracted by friends in the car or texting and tweeting, and slowing down.
PS: Congrats on becoming a new driver. How has that been going for you?
AM: It's great. I like to drive and it's a lot of fun. I was little bit nervous [taking the driver's test] but I got through it.
PS: Do you have any advice for teens who are prepping for their test?
AM: I would say don't sing in the car. I definitely failed with that.
PS: I think your fans would disagree. You mention one of the issues with teen drivers is using their phones in the car. How do you think parents and teens can make sure this doesn't happen?
AM: Just don't do it. This is the number one cause of teen deaths in America, which is pretty scary. Just wait till you get to where you're going to make a call or put up a photo on Instagram.
PS: Social media, in general, is big with teens. You are especially active on Twitter and Instagram. What advice would you give to teens about being safe and smart online?
AM: There is a lot of hate involved in social media, and I remember getting a lot of it when I was posting YouTube videos. You just have to be nice and respectful to others, and not think about how others feel [about you].
PS: How do you suggest teens deal with the negativity?
AM: As hard as it is, you just have to ignore it as best as you can. There are a lot of people who want to bring you down. You just have to look the other way and brush it off your shoulders. If you can't, make sure to have a good group of friends to talk it out with, and they will help you as well.