NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nineteen-year-old singing sensation Jordin Sparks and her mom, Jodi Sparks, today publicly pledged not to text and drive by leaving their mark - in this case, their thumbprints, on a pledge banner making its way around the country this holiday season. The move kicks off a 30-city tour, "X the TXT: Thumbs Up to the Safest Holiday Ever," sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company during which teens and their families will be asked to add their thumbprints to the banner as a public pledge not to text and drive. Teens who sign the pledge will receive thumb bands they can wear as a reminder and symbol of their pledge.
The holidays are one of the deadliest times of the year for teen drivers. By taking the pledge, Allstate and Sparks hope teens and parents will take personal action to help save lives this holiday season and beyond.
"Unfortunately, it can be easy to forget the dangers of texting and driving when you get behind the wheel. That's why it is important for teens, their friends and families to acknowledge its risks and pledge together not to do it," said Sparks. "I'm glad to take this public pledge with Allstate, because sending a text isn't worth taking a life."
The tour will include live pledge events in each tour city throughout the holiday season and a "Top the Tally" competition to see which city can gather the most thumb pledges. The general public will also be encouraged to get involved by joining a Facebook cause page and taking a virtual pledge not to text and drive. Allstate will donate $1 to the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) for every Facebook "Thumbs Up" pledge supporter (www.facebook.com/thumbsuppledge).
Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing teens today. According to a recent Allstate Foundation study, 82% of driving teens claim to use cell phones while driving, and 49% admit to being extremely distracted by texting and instant messaging while driving. Recent research conducted by Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute reveals that texting while driving can increase the risk of an accident by 23 times.
The study also shows parents can have a profound effect on their teen's driving behavior. 81% of teens admit their parents have the most influence on how they drive, and 79% say they are most likely to take driving safety advice from their parents.
"Everyone is susceptible to distractions behind the wheel. Our kids learn about what is acceptable driving behavior from us and as parents, it is important that we lead by example and make this a family issue," added Jodi Sparks.
"Allstate has a long history of promoting safe driving. Our teen driving programs inspire ongoing discussions about safe driving and we know that save lives, said Joan Walker, senior vice president of corporate relations. "The peace of mind that comes from taking the pledge not to text and drive is the best gift anyone could give their loved ones. It helps to ensure teens return home safely for the holidays and every day."
For a complete list of tour cities, tour schedule, and to download the family pledge, please visit www.facebook.com/thumbsuppledge.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.
SOURCE Allstate Corporation