Cooper Tire and Teen Race Car Driver Tristan Nunez Provide Safety Tips for National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 18-24

FINDLAY, Ohio, Oct. 16, 2015 – Cooper Tire is teaming up with 19-year-old MAZDA factory race car driving sensation Tristan Nunez to share safety tips during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 18 through Oct. 24.

Nunez is a professional driver and distracted driving prevention advocate who quickly rose in the world of professional auto racing as a full-time driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series. Nunez launched the Dnt txt n drV Foundation in 2014 and is a passionate advocate for distracted driving prevention, making numerous appearances at high schools throughout his racing schedule and speaking at some of the nation’s most important driving safety forums since the age of 15.

On behalf of Cooper, Nunez is proactively addressing safety issues during National Teen Driver Safety Week, sharing tips that both he and Cooper hope all drivers—especially young ones—will put into action every day.

“As a professional race car driver, safety is a top priority, but I am actually more concerned about it when driving on city streets than on the race track,” Nunez said. “There are so many drivers who seem to be thinking about everything but safety when they are behind the wheel. We all have places to go and we’re all busy, but we can’t forget that making it to our destination safely is the top priority,” he added.

Nunez’s safe driving tips:

  • Remove a key distraction by turning off your phone. If it is still in your line of sight and is too much of a temptation, lock it way in your glove box or put it in the back seat where it won’t be visible and available to you.
  • Don’t eat, apply make up or engage in other activities that take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road. Take care of these things before you leave home or wait until you arrive at your destination.
  • Don’t text or use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media while driving. If traveling with friends, appoint one who is not driving as your “designated texter.” Have that person stay in touch with others so there is no distraction for the driver.
  • Similarly, don’t text family or friends when you know they are driving. You want them to arrive safely to their destination, and you don’t want to be the cause of an accident.
  • Speak up. Call out parents, siblings, friends and others who are engaged in distracted driving. Tell them that they must stop. Most of the time, they will. If not, make the choice not to ride with them and be clear about why.

In addition to these tips, Nunez and Cooper also offer three key tire safety tips to keep in mind during National Teen Driver Safety Week and all year long.

  • Tire pressure: Drivers are advised to check their tire pressure when tires are cool—at least three hours after the last time a vehicle has been driven—and to be sure they know the proper tire pressure for their vehicle. The correct tire pressure is not shown on the tire, but is listed in the car’s owner’s manual, on the door jamb, or the glove box door. Properly inflated tires lead to better control of the vehicle, improved fuel consumption and help avoid uneven tread wear.
  • Tread depth: Proper tread depth helps tires maintain traction, improve handling and prevent hydroplaning on wet roads. Drivers can check tread depth with a common U.S. penny or a tread depth indicator.
  • Tire condition: It’s important that tires are routinely checked for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and bulges, which could cause tire failure. Cooper advises drivers to check the condition of their tires before every lengthy road trip and at least monthly

Cooper has more information about tire safety at http://us.coopertire.com/Tire-Safety/Tire-Safety-Tips.aspx. For more information about Tristan Nunez and distracted driving prevention, visit http://www.dnttxtndrvfoundation.org/.

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About Tristan Nunez and Dnt txt n drV
Tristan Nunez is a 19-year-old professional auto racing driver who competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series as a MAZDA factory driver for SpeedSource. Nunez became the youngest class winner in GRAND-AM and American Le Mans Series history in 2013, and became the youngest SportsCar champion in 2012, when he captured the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda Series championship. Born to a now-retired professional tennis player, Nunez began his racing career at the age of 11 while his twin brother continuing to pursue tennis. Nunez advanced his racing career with multiple karting championships and then transitioned to Skip Barber formula cars, where he was named 2010 Rookie of the Year in the Skip Barber Southern Series and won the Skip Barber Summer Series overall points championship. The teen also won the 2012 Team USA Scholarship and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, and was named by Sports Illustrated as a "Face in the Crowd". The young Floridian stays active on and off the racetrack as the face of his Dnt txt n drV Foundation, where he serves as an advocate for the prevention of distracted driving. For more information, visit http://www.tristannunez.com, http://www.DnttxtndrVFoundation.org, http://www.twitter.com/tristannunez, or http://www.facebook.com/TristanNunezRacing.

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper and its subsidiaries also sell medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations within its family of companies located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.

Media Contact:
Michelle Rehbein
Cooper Tire
419.424.4251
mrrehbein@coopertire.com