SOURCE: ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

May 06, 2014 09:00 ET

Distracted Driving Can Be a Killer

Distraction-Free 23 Encourages Canadians to Break Their Electronic Dependency by Giving Up Mobile Devices and the Internet for 23 Hours Starting May 23

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 06, 2014) - When you're driving, focus your attention on the road. It's a simple message but one too many Canadians ignore. In fact, texting behind the wheel makes you up to 23 times more likely to crash[1]. And nearly 80 per cent of collisions are due to distracted drivers.

To help raise awareness and offer a platform to speak out about the dangers of distracted driving, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is encouraging Canadians to sacrifice their personal tech devices and the Internet for 23 hours in a national event called Distraction-Free 23 (DF23), which runs from May 23 to 24, 2014. 

Despite legislation in all Canadian jurisdictions (excluding Nunavut), distracted driving is still a serious problem and fatal collisions caused by distracted drivers are at an all time high. A 2013 study commissioned by Allstate Canada and Abacus Data revealed 90 per cent of respondents admitted to driving with some form of a distraction, an increase of 15 per cent since Allstate Canada conducted a similar survey in 2010.

"DF23 is like a one-day fast from your personal tech distractions, and is designed to help get the attention of your friends and family," says Ryan Michel, Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Allstate Canada. "In today's society, people seem to feel the need to be connected 24-7, even when they're driving, but if you demonstrate you can go 23 hours without your tech device, surely you, and others, can go a few minutes in the car without your device."

The national event kicks off at 6 p.m. on May 23 and runs until 5 p.m. on May 24. During this time participants are encouraged to spend quality time with others without using personal electronic devices (cell phones, tablets, mp3 players, etc.) or the Internet.

Distraction-Free 23 is open to all Canadians. Simply visit distractionfree23.ca to sign the pledge promising to give up your personal tech distractions for a full 23 hours and help spread the message that distracted driving kills. It's easy to login with your Facebook or Twitter accounts and add an avatar on your social media profile, letting friends know you're disconnecting from the online world for the duration of the event.

"Most people think summer is the safest time of year to be driving. Yet while the roads are clear and dry, it is in fact the deadliest season," says Michel. "We're holding DF23 in May to increase awareness of the dangers of the road when people are thinking about getting away."

"There's strength in numbers," Michel adds, "so the more people we have pledging and sharing their pledges to go Distraction-Free 23, the stronger our message will be."

Allstate Canada piloted the Distraction-Free 23 initiative last fall, including an event with 60 teens at Rick Hansen Secondary School in Mississauga, ON -- which was an eye-opening and inspiring experience for the students (video) -- and a national online pledge which saw over 1,300 Canadians across the country participate.

Sign the pledge and enter the DF23 contest

This year, Allstate is partnering with Student Life Network in a contest where Canadian students[2] who sign the DF23 pledge will have a chance to win a prize that includes pizza and a movie for the winner and 23 friends or a limo ride and dinner for the winner and six friends. http://df23.studentlifenetwork.com  

And if students sign up as part of their school and encourage at least 10 of their classmates to take the pledge, the school will be automatically entered for a chance to win the "High School Spirit" prize of $1,000. http://justdrivecanada.ca/en/df23

Details about other Allstate Canada distracted driving initiatives can be found at:

Website: justdrivecanada.ca

Blog: blog.justdrivecanada.ca

Facebook: facebook.com/justdrivecanada

Twitter: twitter.com/justdrivecanada

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, and also recently named to Aon Hewitt's Best Employers in Canada list. "The Good Hands Network®" enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 83 community-based Agencies, directly online at allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. Allstate is also working with Accident Awareness on the issue of distracted driving by offering free in-school presentations with safe driving tips in high schools across the country. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit allstate.ca, and to learn more about Just Drive, visit justdrivecanada.ca.

[1] https://www.vt.edu/spotlight/achievement/2013-07-01-distracted/texting.html

[2] Contest not available to residents of Quebec.

Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange an interview with an Allstate Canada representative, please contact:

    Maxine Patenaude
    Thornley Fallis Communications
    Office: 416-515-7517 ext. 245
    Email: patenaude@thornleyfallis.com