WOODBRIDGE – To encourage parents and teens to take a pledge to eliminate distractions from their cars, Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company is sponsoring a Family Driving Challenge.
The challenge will be held at Woodbridge Center Mall on Tuesday, May 25, at 3 p.m. and it will give parents and teens a first-hand look at what distractions can do to a driver behind the wheel. Professional driving instructors will take parent-teen teams through a special driving course that includes distractions such as phone calls, texting and rowdy passengers. With each added distraction, the course becomes more difficult as both parents and teens try to stay on course and avoid smashing cones.
“Driving today is completely different than just a few years ago,” said William P. Ballinger, President, Allstate New Jersey. “With cell phones, MP3 players and other smart devices, we are constantly multi-tasking, but it shouldn’t be done while driving.”
The Family Driving Challenge is being held in 38 cities across the United States and is designed to help reduce the numbers around some alarming statistics around distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration:
- Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver
- Driver distraction contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes
- Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
- Car crashes are the number one killer of American teens, killing thousands each year and injuring hundreds of thousands mores.
According to a recent study by the Allstate Foundation, almost 90% of the teens surveyed said their parents were the biggest influencers on their driving habits.
“Teens are watching what their parents are doing while driving and it influences their behavior,” said Ballinger. “This is why it is so important for parents to put down their phones, limit their distractions and set a good example in the car for their teens.”
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