Nationwide Insurance, NASCAR’s Kyle Petty, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Landon Cassill, encourage students to stop driving distracted
Many motorists committing DWD – “Driving While Distracted”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2009
Gayle Saunders 614-249-3687
Memphis, TN — Today, Nationwide Insurance teamed up with St. Benedict High School, NASCAR star Kyle Petty and NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and LandonCassill, to raise awareness about DWD – Driving While Distracted. Senior high school students at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School learned about the dangers of driving while distracted.
A new Nationwide Insurance On Your Side survey found that 8 in 10 Americans surveyed say they would support legislation restricting cell phone use while driving. The survey reports that 80 percent of Americans favor a ban on texting while driving, while two thirds favor a ban on cell phone calls and more than half say they would support a ban on cell phone use altogether.
“Drivers today are faced with more distractions than ever before, and diverting their attention away from the road with cell phone calls and text messages creates a very dangerous situation,” said Kyle Petty. “It is important to learn about the risks associated with distracted driving. If we can raise awareness on this particular subject, I believe we can save lives.”
Nationwide Insurance brought the NASCAR drivers to the school as part of an education campaign to spread the message of dangers of driving while distracted. Students saw firsthand the impact text messaging has on their driving abilities while racing in a NASCAR simulator.
“We really appreciate Nationwide including our students in this effort,” said George Valadie, St. Benedict at Auburndale High School principal. “We worry about our young people all the time, but never more so than when they’re on the road. Anything and anyone that helps to make them safer is a welcome addition to our campus.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers understand the importance of raising awareness among high school students and consumers when it comes to driver safety.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to teach drivers about the dangers of driving while being distracted," said Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford. "It seems like every day there is a new story about an accident caused by a driver was using their cell phone. This program really wakes drivers up about what can go wrong from sending a simple text message instead of focusing on driving.”
Nationwide and the National Safety Council developed www.NationwideSmartRide.com, a Website to provide parents and teens free tools and resources to help encourage driver safety and reinforce smart behavior. It is available free to anyone regardless of whether they are a Nationwide customer.
"DWD is a great program that I feel is important for everyone to take seriously,” said Landon Cassill. “I myself have a teenage sister that is learning to drive, and one of the biggest things that my parents have taught her is to put the cell phone away while she is driving. Thanks to Nationwide Insurance, this is a program that will definitely make our roads safer, and save lives.”
Nationwide is committed to helping customers protect what matters most and that is why the company recently stated its support of the concept of a national ban on texting while driving. In addition to saving lives, fewer DWD related crashes could also result in lower insurance costs for consumers. Learn more about the impact this could have by viewing these cell phone driving statistics from Nationwide.
“DWD impacts all of us in one form or another and Nationwide will continue to raise public awareness about this important issue,” said Bill Windsor, Nationwide’s Chief Safety Officer. “By working closely with legislators, public safety officials and other key stakeholders we can arrive at real-world solutions to this problem and help make the roads a safer place.”
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series logo and word mark are used under license by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. NASCAR ® and the NASCAR logo are registered trademarks of the National Association for Stock Auto Racing, Inc. Nationwide SmartRide is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Nationwide, On Your Side and the Nationwide Frame mark are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.