Do u txt n drive?
Allstate New Jersey sponsors three distracted driving challenges to help teens
smarter, safer drivers
09.21.2009 – What do French fries, mascara, and iPods have in common? Sadly,
these seemingly innocuous objects can be deadly driving distractions for today’s
teens behind the wheel.
Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens. Last year, nearly 5,000 teens never
returned home and more than 300,000 were injured in car accidents. The leading
cause of these deadly collisions? Driver distractions.
To help combat this public health epidemic, Allstate New Jersey Insurance
Company (Allstate New Jersey) recently held three Action Against Distraction driving
challenges for teens. Taking place in Oradell, NJ, Skillman, NJ and Philadelphia,
these interactive events aimed to teach teens and their parents how eliminating
distractions in the car can help save lives.
With the help of professional driving instructors, participants drove around a course
while eating, texting, and contending with rowdy passengers to experience first-hand
how these distractions impact their ability to avoid a crash.
More than 40 teens took part in these exciting and interactive challenges. For many,
the results were eye-opening and will leave a lasting impression.
“I know kids who have been in an accident because they were texting or talking on
the phone,” said Kelsey Ballinger, 17, a senior at Montgomery Township High
School. “This program has definitely helped me become a better driver. It makes you
realize how one small mistake behind the wheel can take a life.”
Driving instructor Jeff Maher has led 28 Action Against Distraction challenges across
the country over the past five months. Time and time again, he has seen the
shocked reactions of teens upon completing the course.
“Eighty percent of the teens start the course a bit scared, while the other 20 percent
are fairly confident,” said Maher. “Once they complete the challenge, all are
surprised by what they experien