Washington Drivers Challenged to Drive Nice for a Day

May 22, 2008

Washington Gov. Gregoire pronounced May 22 2008, Drive Nice Day throughout the state, challenging drivers to make a conscious effort to drive nice and help make it a collision-free day.

Drive Nice Day, founded by SWERVE Driver Training, kicked off in 2007 to encourage drivers to drive with greater responsibility and more
consideration for those with whom they share the road. In one year, the grassroots initiative has grown to a statewide effort sponsored by SWERVE Driver Training, AAA Washington, Allstate Insurance and the Washington Department of Licensing, with the support of the Washington Traffic and Safety Commission and the Washington State Patrol.

“We wanted to find a way to strengthen our communities by inspiring
individuals to be better drivers,” said Fred Wright, CEO of SWERVE. “Approximately 600 Washingtonians die in traffic crashes each year and most are preventable.”

Drive Nice Day is scheduled each year on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, known to be one of the most dangerous and fatal weekends of the year on the road due to car collisions.

“The only way to help people understand how to be collision-free for
life is to change the patterns that currently exist on our roadways,” Wright said. “The spirit of Drive Nice Day is all about inspiring as many people as possible to focus on making May 22 a collision-free day in Washington state.”

According to his organization, car crashes are the number one killer of Washingtonians under the age of 45 and rank third — trailing only cancer and heart disease — in shortening life spans before the age of 65. The Washington State Department of Transportation places the comprehensive cost of car crashes at more than $5.6 billion per year.

“We can’t ignore the obvious connections between driving nice and
driving safe,” said Angie Ward, spokeswoman for the Washington Traffic and Safety Commission.

Dave Overstreet, director of public affairs for AAA Washington, said
it sponsored Drive Nice Day because “motorists who respect other
motorists, cyclists and pedestrians create an environment that enhances traffic safety and emphasizes taking responsibility for our actions as drivers.”

This year’s Drive Nice Day includes the City Challenge, with a $10,000 award provided by Allstate Insurance. The cities of
Seattle and Tacoma will compete to see which has the nicest drivers.
Observation teams made up of expert SWERVE driving instructors, Washington State Patrol officers, student drivers and volunteers will be at high-traffic locations in both cities during morning rush hour scoring drivers on their nice and not-so-nice driving. Allstate’s award will go to the winning city for teen drivers’ education.

For more information, visit http://www.driveniceday.org.

SOURCE SWERVE Driver Training

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