Takata Joins FocusDriven to Educate Teens on the Dangers of Distracted Driving
Key Message:  Phone Down, Buckle Up – Every Time!

(Washington, D.C.)… Following a meeting with US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata Corporation and FocusDriven announced a collaboration to combat the growing number of distracted driving injuries and deaths on our roadways.  The theme of the new campaign is “Phone down, Buckle Up – Every Time!”

"I want to thank Takata for its commitment to safety. Distracted driving is an epidemic that needlessly claims the lives of thousands of Americans every year,” says Secretary LaHood. “The partnership between Takata and FocusDriven is yet another step forward in our effort to reach young people and save lives."

FocusDriven is an advocacy organization who supports banning mobile phone use while driving.  Takata launched the relationship with an initial donation to help FocusDriven expand their efforts to help make teenagers even more aware of the dangers of mobile phone distractions while driving.  And as one of the world’s leading seatbelt manufacturers, Takata and FocusDriven will also be promoting that wearing your seatbelt – every time – is the most effective defense against a distracted driver.

“This is a perfect fit for Takata and our company’s vision that one day there will be zero victims due to traffic accidents,” says Robert Fisher, executive vice president, Takata Corporation. “As one of the world’s leading seatbelt system manufacturers, and a global leader in airbags and advanced safety electronics, we are completely committed to passenger protection and crash avoidance.  This rapidly expanding area of driver distraction is one that needs attention now, and we are proud to be joining with FocusDriven in the effort to help save lives.”

Takata will initially target their efforts with FocusDriven to educate teens about the dangers of distracted driving, and particularly the use of a mobile phone while driving.  Phone Down, Buckle Up – Every Time!”  This message not only addresses avoiding the dangerous driving distraction posed by smart phones and other electronic communication devices, but also addresses the quiet issue of defending yourself in a vehicle from other drivers out there who may not heed the warnings.

“Nearly one-in-four crashes involve cell phone conversations, and texting drivers contribute to more than 100,000 crashes each year,” says Jennifer Smith, president, FocusDriven.  “Teenagers remain the largest texting population, and there is a real need to educate them on avoiding the urge to use mobile phones while driving.  Conversely, teenagers remain a population segment that still needs to be reminded that more than 60 percent of motor vehicle fatalities occur with drivers or passengers who are not buckled up.  Together, that is a devastating combination. With Takata, we will work to address both of these issues through education and encouraging safe behaviors that are proven to save lives.”

Takata Corporation is a global leader in passive and active safety systems. Its customers include nearly every automotive manufacturer and several Tier One suppliers. Its technology features a strong emphasis on safety restraint systems, air bags, safety electronics, interior trim, and special fabrics and textile materials. Takata’s worldwide sales approach $5 billion annually, with the company operating 46 manufacturing locations in 17 countries, and 11 research and development locations on three continents. Takata employs about 35,000 people globally, with more than 18,500 in North America.

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.

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John Casey
(248) 935-2911

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