FOCUSDRIVEN ANNOUNCES RACE CAR DRIVER ZACH VEACH AS ITS NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON 15-year-old Andretti Autosport driver Veach to raise awareness on the dangers of texting while driving Grapevine, Texas - FocusDriven, Advocates for Cell-Free...
FOCUSDRIVEN ANNOUNCES RACE CAR DRIVER ZACH VEACH AS ITS NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON
15-year-old Andretti Autosport driver Veach to raise awareness on the dangers of texting while driving
Grapevine, Texas - FocusDriven, Advocates for Cell-Free Driving, today announced 15-year-old Andretti Autosport race car driver Zach Veach as a supporter of cell-free driving and a national spokesperson for the non-profit organization. Veach, USF2000 National Championship driver and part of the Indy Racing League's Road to Indy developmental ladder program, will help raise awareness on the dangers of texting while driving.
"We are very proud to have Zach become a part of FocusDriven," said Jennifer Smith, FocusDriven president and founding board member. "His support will help us reduce distracted driving crashes. Text messaging is the way many people communicate, especially teens. It is important for others to understand the risks of text messaging while driving, and there is no better person than Zach to share this message with teens."
Veach has been very active in educating teens about the risks of texting behind the wheel. A native of Ohio, Veach spoke in front of the Ohio House of Representatives to gain support for a distracted driving bill (H.B. 415) that would outlaw text messaging for all drivers in the state.
The American racer also spent this past May gathering support for Oprah Winfrey's "No Phone Zone" from auto racing's elite, adding support from 33 Indianapolis 500 race car drivers, including Danica Patrick and Helio Castroneves. He also raised funds for FocusDriven by auctioning off a 16 GB Apple iPad signed by the drivers.
"I'[focusdrivencar.jpg] m really excited to be a part of an organization which has a direct mission to save lives," said Veach, who put two top-five finishes in the books this past weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park in his No. 7 ADS Mazda. "With my racing background, I hope to promote a vision other kids my age will follow and live by. After all, promoting safer roads is something we should all be a champion for - it's a cause you can't afford not to get behind."
Drivers who text behind the wheel are 8 to 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Texting while driving contributes to more than 200,000 crashes each year, according to the National Safety Council. To address these numbers, Veach will hold his own teen safe driving day, "Ziggy's Teen Safe Driving" at the Autobahn Country Club in Chicago late next month in conjunction with one of his partners, Mazda. At the event, Veach will unveil his self-made iPhone and Droid application that alerts others when a person is driving with an automated text message. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit FocusDriven. Additionally, this fall, Veach will release his first book, 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before You Turned Sixteen, with a special feature chapter on distracted driving.
FocusDriven - Advocates for Cell-Free Driving (focusdriven.org) is a nonprofit advocacy organization for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using cell phones. FocusDriven supports victims of cell phone distracted driving and families of victims. Its goal is to increase public awareness on the dangers of cell phone distracted driving by putting a human face on the disastrous impact of the behavior, in order to promote corresponding public policies, programs and personal responsibility.
About Zach Veach
Zach Veach is a 15-year-old autoracing driver that competes in the Indy Racing League's 'Road to Indy' USF2000 Championship Series for Andretti Autosport. Veach began his racing career at age 12 in go-karts. It was in 2007, where Veach caught the eye of Dave Fisher, father of IZOD IndyCar Series driver and team owner, Sarah Fisher. For the next two years Fisher [Dave] coached and developed Veach's talent, as he did with Fisher [Sarah] in the early stages of her career. By the middle of 2009, in just 16 months, Veach had progressed from entry-level karting to Formula BMW. In late 2009, Veach signed with Jensen Motorsport to compete in the Atlantic Championship Series, before it folded in early 2010. Veach has created a safe-driving initiative: Ziggy's Teen Safe Driving Campaign, with seminars and supportive school programs to be held in race markets where Veach competes in 2010. He'll release his first published iPhone and Droid application, due out in mid-2010, to help consumers avoid dangerous text messaging while driving. Further, he's set to author a book, due out on his 16th birthday, "99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Getting Your Drivers License," which will serve as a supplemental read for driver's educations programs across the country, set to be released Dec. 9, 2010. For more information, please visit www.zachveach.com.
About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis, Ind., Andretti Autosport is led by racing legend Michael Andretti. Andretti Autosport, which is the winningest team in Indy Racing League history, fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport also campaigns multiple cars in the Firestone Indy Lights series in a joint venture with AFS Racing and two cars in the USF2000 National Championship. The company boasts three IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005 and 2007), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com.
-source: Zach Veach Racing