FINDLAY, Ohio, Oct. 16, 2015 – As part of Cooper Tire’s ongoing commitment to tire safety, the company will take part in the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) Teen Safe Driving Summit, which takes place Oct. 17 through Oct. 20 at the Hilton Old Town in Alexandria, Va. The summit is the kick off to National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs Oct. 18 through Oct. 24.
The Teen Safe Driving Summit, which originally began five years ago as a distracted driving prevention event, has broadened its agenda this year to include a wide range of driving safety issues such as seat belt use, speeding, impaired driving, auto safety, and now also tire safety with Cooper’s involvement. Nearly 100 youth and advisors from over 20 states will attend the summit and participate in a new Interactive Lab Station for additional hands-on learning opportunities. Attendees are responsible for going back to their communities following the summit to share what they have learned with peers. This youth-led approach—involving teens in peer-to-peer education—is thought to be most effective at preventing injury and saving lives.
Cooper will be represented at the event by teenage MAZDA Factory race car driver and distracted driving prevention advocate Tristan Nunez. Nunez, 19, is a full-time driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series. He 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 safe driving forums.
Nunez will be at the Interactive Lab Station representing Cooper on Oct. 18 from noon to 4 p.m., and will demonstrate tire safety tips including how to check tires for proper tread depth and inflation pressure as well as how to assess the overall condition of a tire. He will also appear at the Summit Oct. 19 at 1:40 p.m. as a speaker on the distracted driving panel, where he will focus on the dangers that distractions pose to teen drivers, their passengers and all road users.
“Parents and teens rightfully spend a lot of time thinking about the safety of their cars and driving behaviors,” said Jessica Egerton, Cooper’s Director of Brand Development. “But, they don’t always give the same level of attention to their tires. Your tires are the only thing connecting your car to the road, and that’s why proper tire selection, care and maintenance are so critical for safe driving. Cooper is committed to tire safety and to reaching out in our communities to inform and educate,” she added.
“I often feel safer when I’m on the race track than when I’m driving on the highway,” Nunez said. “Race car drivers are highly focused on safety and operating our vehicles with the utmost care, which is critical at the speeds we run. Yet, on the streets every day, there is much less attention to safe driving and there are so many distractions. New drivers are especially vulnerable to these distractions and they are also generally less knowledgeable about aspects such as tire safety. I’m excited to connect with the kids who will attend the Teen Safe Driving Summit because they’ll go back and spread what they have learned, helping to keep their friends safe on the road.”
About NOYS and the Teen Safe Driving Summit
The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) is a national coalition that works to promote youth safety across the country. From injury prevention to substance abuse and violence prevention, NOYS promotes safe and healthy lifestyles while encouraging youth empowerment and leadership. NOYS member organizations include federal government agencies, business and industry, nonprofits, and youth-participating organizations, with a collective reach of over seven million youth. The national Teen Safe Driving Summit has been one of NOYS’ signature events for over five years. Local outreach activities, led by youth participants of the national summit, reach tens of thousands of students with messages about safe driving. Learn more at NOYS.org.
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.