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Teen Safe Driving Challenge Puts the Brakes on Distracted Driving

Allstate revs up support for teen driving laws that save lives

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08/27/2012 - DETROIT

Today, Detroit-area teens, their family and friends were challenged to navigate through a professional, closed course while texting, talking on the phone and dealing with rowdy riders without veering off path or hitting obstacles during Allstate's Safe Driving Challenge.

The Challenge came to Comerica Park on Monday, Aug. 27 to give area parents and teens a life-saving lesson on the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of passenger safety. Driver distraction contributes to nearly 20 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes, and in 2010, nearly 3,100 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.

The teens who took part in the Challenge are a part of youth programs at Dearborn-based non-profit ACCESS, which provides social, health, education and employment services to the Arab American community in greater Detroit. Allstate teamed up with ACCESS to showcase the leadership of the teens and to create opportunities for the teens to spread the word about smart driving at the start of the school year.

"Programs like Allstate's Safe Driving Challenge help elevate the conversation on traffic safety, educate Detroit-area families about the dangers of risky driving behaviors and prepare our youngest drivers as they get behind the wheel," says Gary Heslinga, Michigan state leader for Allstate. "The driving conversation often starts at home, but parents can't always be with their teen on the road. That's why Allstate leads advocacy efforts for stronger laws that help eliminate distractions and gradually introduce our most inexperienced drivers to a safer driving experience."

In the U.S., car crashes are the number one cause of death for everyone ages 1-34, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group.

Currently, stronger teen driving laws, referred to as Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), are being considered by Congress as a part of the Highway Transportation Bill's reauthorization. GDL policies have been shown to reduce traffic fatalities by as much as 40 percent in the states where they have been adopted. Additionally, recent research from The Allstate Foundation's License to Save report found that comprehensive GDL laws could save an estimated 24 lives and $200 million annually in Michigan.

To track the Safe Driving Challenge and see action footage from the course and photos of participants, visit While there, check out information and resources, learn how to contact local lawmakers and invite family and friends to take action in support of stronger teen driving laws.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names. Widely known by its slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®," Allstate offers insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate's commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.

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Meghan Cass

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