Local teens pledge to 'X the TXT'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Local Allstate agency owner Matt Welker, far left, give a "Thumbs Up to X the TXT" with Greencastle High School's driver's education students Nash Firebaugh, Sistine Muncy, Rebecca Sampson, Kayla Chadd, Sam Sloan, Tyler Master, Colby Green, Justin Richards, Nick Pingleton and Willis Kemp. X the TXT is a national campaign sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company. The campaign focuses on engaging teens and their families on a grassroots level to pledge not to text and drive.

GREENCASTLE -- Allstate Insurance Company is building a movement to end texting behind the wheel and make the roads safer for American families.

The company's "Thumbs Up to X the TXT" program is a national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving and encourages teens and their families to pledge not to text and drive.

Students taking a summer driver's education course at Greencastle High School have made the pledge. Local Allstate agency owner Matthew Welker visited the classes and talked to the students about the dangers of texting while driving.

"Texting is just one of the issues facing young drivers," said GHS driver's education instructor Dan Layton.

Drivers who are eating, smoking or taking a drink of a beverage while operating a vehicle are distracted, which increases the risk of a crash. Layton said he felt students are exposed to important aspects of driving through driver's education classes and Allstate's X the TXT program.

"It's an excellent program," he said.

Welker also handed out thumb bands to the students, as a reminder that texting kills. Texting takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, it's like driving the length of a football field completely blind. And just reaching for the phone in a car increases the risk of a crash by nine times.

"The program is meant to help keep teens safer on the roads," Welker said.

Since its launch in November 2009, more than 80,000 people have pledged to "X the TXT," including "American Idol" superstars Jordin Sparks and David Archuleta and NFL players Derrick Mayes and Larry Fitzgerald.

"I am proud to present this program," Welker said. "It's a great way for myself and Allstate to give back to the community."

Be a good role model -- take the pledge to X the TXT.

To take the pledge, visit Welker at his Greencastle office, 1001 S. Bloomington St., or call 653-9277.

"Anyone wanting to pledge is welcome to do so," Welker said.

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