Nationwide Insurance, NASCAR drivers Scott Wimmer, Joey Logano encourage Race Fever fans to stop texting while driving
Many young motorists committing DWD – “Driving While Distracted”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2008
Eric Hardgrove 614-677-8516
Lisa Cox 336-682-8488
“Safety is a big part of what I do for a living and eliminating any distractions plays a big roll in keeping me safe while driving 180 mph,” said Scott Wimmer, driver of the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet. “The same thing applies while I’m driving myself or my family around on the road. I can’t take any chances injuring the people I love or anyone else on the road. It only takes one glance at your phone to have a life-changing distraction.
"To drive home the message that multitasking behind the wheel puts
drivers and their fellow motorists as risk, Nationwide hosted an event at
Race Fever in downtown Concord, NH. From behind the wheel of a NASCAR
simulator, race fans saw firsthand the impact text messaging has on their
“Whether it’s Nationwide Series race, or just driving on the roads near my house in Charlotte, paying attention to my surroundings has always been important,” said Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota. “I know as a young racecar driver that I’m expected to lead by example. I use my cell phone a lot to talk with my friends. But, I’m well aware that if I’m taking a long trip on the highway, or making a short trip up the road I need to put down my phone and focus on the road to get back and forth safely.”
New Nationwide Insurance survey underscores DWD problem
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted drivers account for nearly four out of five crashes in the U.S. The problem is especially bad for young drivers. In a new survey released by Nationwide Mutual Insurance of 1,500 drivers, nearly 40 percent of the teenagers and young adults surveyed admitted they send and receive text messages while driving - the same percentage of those questioned who said they have been hit or almost hit by another car whose driver was talking on a cell phone.
“Clearly, distracted driving has taken over our roadways, and our survey shows that no one is immune -- no matter how safe they think they are,” said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety for Nationwide.
Distractions that take a driver’s eyes off the road even for just seconds put drivers and their passengers at great risk.
“Text messaging comes natural to Gen Y-ers. However, multitasking while behind the wheel is quite different from multitasking while sitting at home,” said Cyndi Tolsma, Regional Vice President of Northeastern States for Nationwide. "We're trying to prevent accidents by educating individual drivers about the risks of driving distracted. This message is critical - whether we've had our license for four months or four decades."
Nationwide and the National Safety Council developed www.NationwideSmartRide.com, a Website to provide parents and teens free tools and resources to help develop safe drivers and reinforce smart behavior. It is available free to anyone regardless of whether they are a Nationwide customer.
Today’s event is part of Nationwide Insurance’s new sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In addition to spreading the message of dangers of driving while distracted, the event gave race fans an opportunity to get driver autographs, clock the fastest time in a NASCAR racing simulator, meet local Nationwide agents and win prizes. The grand prize for the sweepstakes at the event was the Nationwide VIP Experience at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which includes behind-the-scenes tours.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 28, 2008 for the Camping World 200 presented by RVs.com. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, 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.