NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Allstate's "Thumbs Up to X the TXT" pledge campaign joins Grammy-nominated and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks on her "Battlefield" tour presented by Mike & Ike this summer to encourage teens and their families not to text while driving. The first of the campaign's 29 tour stops is today, with the goal of raising awareness about the dangers of texting while driving, and asking teens and their families to publicly pledge to "X the TXT" behind the wheel.
"The summer is one of the deadliest times of the year for young drivers," says Sparks. "School's out and the desire to be in touch with friends and family is even stronger. By pledging not to text and drive we can save thousands of lives. Choosing to not pick up the phone and keep your eyes on the road can be the difference between life and death."
Concertgoers will have the opportunity to make the pledge not to text and drive by adding their thumbprint – the symbol of their pledge – to a traveling banner at each of Sparks' shows. Participants will receive thumb bands they can wear as a reminder of their commitment.
Allstate's X the TXT movement began last November with a 30-city national tour of live pledge events, a Facebook virtual pledge page, and a petition urging Congress to address the issue of texting while driving. The campaign is part of Allstate's broader efforts to make our roads safer, especially for young drivers.
Most recently, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Congressional leaders joined Allstate and Sparks in Washington, DC to urge Americans to make the pledge not to text while driving. To date, more than 80,000 people have made the pledge.
"Texting while driving is the equivalent of drinking four beers. It is time to put an end to this deadly practice," said Joan Walker, senior vice president of corporate relations at Allstate. "By combining the power of personal pledges with calls for strong distracted driving and graduated drivers licensing laws, Allstate is working to reduce teen deaths and make our roads safer for everyone."
Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing drivers today, particularly among teens, of which car crashes are the number one killer. According to a recent Allstate Foundation study, 49 percent of driving teens admit to being extremely distracted by texting and instant messaging while driving. And, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports driver distraction contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes.
Allstate hopes more people will join the cause in urging Congress to create stronger laws, not just to ban texting while driving, but to make young drivers safer drivers. One way to do this is through the enactment of graduated driver licensing guidelines that allow new drivers to gain valuable experience under supervised and less risky conditions.
To take the pledge not to text and drive or for more information about the tour, visit www.facebook.com/thumbsuppledge. A full listing of tour dates and locations follows:
June 3: Sayreville, N.J., Starland Ballroom
June 4: Clifton Park, N.Y., Northern Lights
June 8: Greensburg, Pa., Palace Theater
June 10: New York, N.Y., Nokia Theater
June 11: Hampton, N.H., HB Casino
June 12: Hartford, Conn., Webster Theater
June 13: Boston, Mass., House of Blues
June 15: Cincinnati, Ohio, 20th Century
June 16: Detroit, Ohio, Royal Oak
June 17: Cleveland, Ohio, House of Blues
June 19: Norfolk, Va., The Norva
June 20: Charlotte, N.C., Fillmore
June 22: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Revolution
June 23: Orlando, Fla., House of Blues
June 28: Houston, Texas, House of Blues
June 29: Dallas, Texas, House of Blues
July 1: Tempe, Ariz., Marquee
July 2: Anaheim, Calif., The Grove
July 3: Reno, Nev., Knitting Factory
July 5: Seattle, Wash., The Showbox
July 6: Portland, Ore., Roseland Theater
July 8: San Diego, Calif., House of Blues
July 9: Los Angeles, Calif., Club Nokia
July 10: San Francisco, Calif., The Regency Ballroom
July 12: Denver, Colo., Ogden Theater
July 14: Kansas City, Mo., Beaumont Club
July 16: Minneapolis, Minn., First Ave
July 17: Chicago, Ill., House of Blues
July 18: Philadelphia, Pa., TLA
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 (auto, home, life and retirement) 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®.
About Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks has been performing from a young age and stands alone as the youngest contestant to ever win "American Idol." She has since become a platinum and award winning recording artist. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2007 on 19 Recordings/Jive Records and went on to sell over 1.6 million copies worldwide, producing three Top 5 hits that have cumulatively sold almost 9 million downloads/ringtones. In addition to winning an American Music Award she has received two MTV Video Music Award nominations and a 2008 Grammy nomination. Jordin released her sophomore album, Battlefield, and has since toured extensively around the world with artists such as Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears. Jordin also recently announced she will make her Broadway debut in the 2008 Tony and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical In The Heights. 20-year-old Jordin Sparks will play the lead in a limited 12-week engagement starting on August 19th through November 14th, 2010. For more information about Jordin Sparks, visit www.sparkstown.com.