Don't drive while distracted, NASCAR drivers warn Cordova students - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Don't drive while distracted, NASCAR drivers warn Cordova students

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - A trio of experienced drivers slowed down to talk to local high school students Thursday about the dangers of not paying attention behind the wheel.

NASCAR drivers Kyle Petty, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Landon Castle spoke to students at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Cordova about the dangers of driving while distracted.

Using a NASCAR simulator, the drivers showed students what can happen when they become distracted while driving.

"It's to teach teenagers - and adults can take from this, too - the dangers of driving while distracted," Petty said. "The dangers of texting, of reaching across the seat."

The drivers mixed their important message along with a bit of fun to seniors, all for the cause of saving lives.  Stenhouse, a native of Olive Branch considered to be an up-and-coming young star on NASCAR's Nationwide circuit, said he's learned a valuable lesson from Driving While Distracted.

"It made me realize that it's a big deal to make sure you pay attention driving down the road," he said. "We pay attention in our race cars and you need to apply the same focus on the street."

Students enjoyed the opportunity to meet the drivers up close, but it was all about the message.

"This definitely is a good thing, because you don't notice how bad it might be if you text while driving until you actually see an experiment like this," seniors Billy Payne and Tyler Rhea said.

Nationwide Insurance brought the NASCAR drivers to the school as part of an education awareness campaign to spread the message of driving while distracted. They say that both cell phones and texting are two of the biggest causes for accidents among young people.

For information about laws on 'texting behind the wheel' in all 50 states, click here.

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