SOURCE: ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

November 21, 2013 07:00 ET

Hundreds of Canadians to Go 23 Hours Without Technology

Allstate Canada Raises Distracted Driving Awareness With Distraction-Free 23

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 21, 2013) - Starting tomorrow afternoon, more than 1,200 Canadians across the country will turn off their cell phones and personal tech devices for 23 hours, as part of Distraction-Free 23 (DF23), to stand up against distracted driving. It's 23 hours because you're 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision if you're texting and driving.

The DF23 pledge is part of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada's awareness program about the risks and consequences of distracted driving. The virtual pledge event starts at 4 p.m. on November 22 and runs until 3 p.m. on November 23.

"If hundreds of people can give up their phones for 23 hours, surely we all can put them down when behind the wheel," says Saskia Matheson, spokesperson for Allstate Canada.

Participants are asked why they want to take part in the DF23 pledge. An Alberta resident said, "I have 3 children that drive. I don't want them to cause an accident while texting or have another driver hit them while texting." While someone from Ontario said, "I am glued to my phone and always online in one form or another. It would be good to un-tether for a day!"

Allstate Canada piloted the Distraction-Free 23 initiative with 60 teens at Rick Hansen Secondary School in Mississauga on Oct. 3-4. The students gave up their tech devices and spent 23 hours together learning about advocacy and connecting without technology. It was an eye-opening and inspiring experience for the students (video).

Despite legislation, distracted driving is still a problem. A 2013 study commissioned by Allstate Canada and Abacus Data revealed that 90 per cent of respondents admitted to some form of a distraction behind the wheel -- a 15 per cent increase since Allstate Canada conducted a similar survey in 2010.

"We believe there is strength in numbers and together we can send a strong message that calls attention to this serious issue," says Matheson. "So far, we've been inspired by the comments and feedback we're getting on the pledge -- people really do want to see a change!"

Allstate Canada is committed to raising awareness about the risks and consequences of distracted driving as the stats are just too hard to ignore:

  • Transport Canada data from 2010 shows us that almost 23 per cent of motor vehicle fatalities were 15 to 24 year olds (which make up only 13 per cent of the population);
  • Distracted driving is a factor in about four million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year;(i)
  • Individuals who use cell phones while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash or almost crash than drivers who are not distracted.(ii)

Visit distractionfree23.ca to join the Canadians who have pledged. Sign with your Facebook or Twitter account to have a badge put on your social media profile, to let friends and family know you are disconnecting from the online world for the duration of the event.

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 82 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 and Teens Learn to Drive on the issue of distracted driving. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit allstate.ca.

National media may contact charbonneau@thornleyfallis.ca to arrange an interview with a local spokesperson from Allstate Canada.

(i) http://distracteddriving.caa.ca/education/index.php

(ii) http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/legal/texting-while-driving-ban-will-be-hard-to-enforce-323837/

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