Nationwide Insurance Joins Forces with NASCAR Star Kyle Petty to Raise Awareness of Distracted Driving
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COLUMBUS, Ohio--(Business Wire)-- Nationwide Insurance and NASCAR star Kyle Petty are joining forces to raise awareness of DWD - driving while distracted. The national campaign, in conjunction with Nationwide`s sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, kicks off this week with a satellite media tour from Lowe`s Motor Speedway and an event at New Technology High School at Garinger in Charlotte, NC. Entering its second year, Nationwide`s DWD education campaign brings NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers to local schools to drive home the message that multitasking behind the wheel puts drivers and their fellow motorists at risk. Students will receive a firsthand look at the impact that distractions have on their driving abilities while racing in a NASCAR simulator. In his role as spokesperson for the Nationwide DWD campaign, Petty will serve as host for many of the high school events planned throughout the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. "I am really excited to be a part of this campaign. Young 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 for our children to learn about the risks associated with distracted driving. If we can raise awareness on this particular subject I believe we can save lives." 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 2008 survey, Nationwide found that 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 Nationwide wants to educate all drivers that they need to focus on the road, not on their technology, when behind the wheel," said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety for Nationwide Insurance. Nationwide`s 2007 "Life on the Go" campaign raised national awareness about DWD and was cited by lawmakers as validation for legislation to drive change in motorist behavior. Distracted-driving-related bills are pending in numerous states. DWD events are planned during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in Cincinnati, OH, Des Moines, IA, Richmond, VA, Memphis, TN, Dallas, TX and Phoenix, AZ. 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 NationalAssociation 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, On Your Side, and the Nationwide Framemark are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5967637&lang=en Nationwide Lisa Cox, 336-682-8488 firstname.lastname@example.org or Liz Christopher, 614-249-7705 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009