Richmond II: Sadler promotes safe driving at school

NASCAR driver and Virginia native Elliott Sadler took time before the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway to visit students and their parents at Huguenot High School on Sept. 4 to talk about the importance of teen safe driving.

NASCAR driver and Virginia native Elliott Sadler took time before the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway to visit students and their parents at Huguenot High School on Sept. 4 to talk about the importance of teen safe driving. With school back in session, there was no better time to speak with teens about safe driving. Sadler was joined by SPEED TV personality John Roberts, and both men have witnessed driving at its best and worst at NASCAR venues throughout the country.

The Emporia, Va., native's visit was part of the Allstate Teen Safe Driving program, an effort to bring the importance of teen safe driving to high school students and their parents throughout the country. Sadler spoke about how his experiences on the track have made him a better driver on the highway.

"I'm a much more cautious motorist," Sadler, driver of the No. 19 Best Buy Dodge, said. "Having 42 other drivers going around the track at nearly 200 mph makes you very aware of your surroundings - one mistake can cause a major accident, just like on the street."

According to the Allstate America's Teen Driving Hotspots study released in May, More than 5,000 teens die each year in car crashes. The study also ranked the "50 Largest Metro Areas by Teen Driving Score," with Richmond ranking 11th worst with a Teen Fatal Crash Rate of almost 30 per 100,000 teens.

Sadler and Roberts encouraged students and their parents to improve their communication as it relates to teen driving. Allstate has created a Parent-Teen Driving Contract, a catalyst of conversation between the parents and teens. The contract, available at www.allstate.com/teen, allows both parties to set rules and consequences if those rules are broken as it relates to the teen's driving.

Roberts, who has three children, with his son Jordan at age 15, is glad that Allstate came out with this contract. "Sitting down with Jordan to fill out the contract will be a great opportunity for us to discuss the dangers of driving," Roberts said. "Safe driving is one of those topics that is difficult to talk to your children about. The contract is a great vehicle to start the conversation."

Although Sadler never had a physical contract with his parents when he began driving, there was a strong verbal agreement. "I was told the day I got my license that driving is a privilege and can be taken away just as fast as it is granted," Sadler recalled. "They told me speed on the race track is fine, but when I was on the street I had to obey every traffic law and prove that I was responsible enough to have a driver's license."

Those who attended the event had the opportunity to visit the Allstate Safety Zone, an interactive safe driving mobile display, and also had the chance to complete the Parent-Teen Driving Contract at computer kiosks. For more information on the Parent-Teen Driving contract and any of Allstate's teen driving initiatives, please visit www.allstate.com/teen.

-credit: allstate

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler