Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jimmie Johnson to join Oprah against distracted driving


We know Jimmie Johnson is on a mission to win his fifth straight Sprint Cup championship. But on Friday, the NASCAR driver will join one of the most influential women in the world in her mission to end distracted driving.

Johnson will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on May 14 to join the talk show host's "No Phone Zone" campaign, the driver's Facebook page announced Wednesday. A pre-taped clip of Johnson will be shown on the "Oprah Fridays Live" episode with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Winfrey started the "No Phone Zone" movement against distracted driving in January. Distracted driving occurs when drivers text, e-mail or talk on their phones while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. According to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" website, a recent survey shows 71 percent of people 18-49 years of age admit to engaging in these behaviors while on the road. Tragically, distracted driving results in injuring nearly 500,000 people - and killing 6,000 - every year.

"Until we as a nation decide we're going to change that, those numbers are only going to go up," Winfrey says on her show's site.

This is where the pledge comes in. Winfrey is encouraging viewers to sign a pledge on the website vowing to designate their vehicle as a "no phone zone." Participants can choose one of the following options:

  • "I will not text while I am driving."
  • "I will not text while driving and will use only handsfree calling if I need to speak on the phone while I am driving."
  • "I will not text or use my phone while I am driving. If I need to use my phone, I will pull over to a secure location."
As of Wednesday night, more than 320,000 pledges had been submitted.

To learn more about Winfrey's "No Phone Zone campaign, visit http://www.oprah.com/packages/no-phone-zone.html.

To see Johnson on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," check your local listings.

PHOTO FROM NASCAR MEDIA

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