Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. is committing the majority of its philanthropic dollars and employee volunteerism efforts to promote driver and tire safety among teens and young adults ages 15 to 25 through its new “Tread Wisely” program.
The company announced that its philanthropic arm, the Cooper Tire and Rubber Foundation, is partnering with the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). Cooper joins NOYS to launch Tread Wisely.
The company made the announcement in conjunction with May’s Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, an initiative that brings together organizations around the world who seek to reduce risks for the youngest drivers on streets, roads and highways.
At the center of “Tread Wisely” is a tire character who delivers important safety information with a dose of humor and a positive, proactive approach designed to appeal to teens and young adults, according to Cooper.
Cooper says the program will involve young people in the process of educating and motivating their peers to take important safety measures. Such efforts are a centerpiece for NOYS, which is a nonprofit organization with a mission to build partnerships that save lives, prevent injuries and promote safe lifestyles among youth while encouraging empowerment and leadership. Working with government agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations, NOYS reaches more than 11 million young people who are part of dozens of youth organizations across the United States and in other nations around the globe.
“Insulated by tons of metal and glass, it’s easy for young drivers to feel invincible behind the wheel,” says Cooper Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Roy Armes. “Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for teens and young adults worldwide, and this must change. In a survey of Cooper employees worldwide, our people overwhelmingly said that our number one cause as a company should be addressing this problem. Cooper is committed, working with NOYS, to tackling this effort in a way that makes a real difference.
“As a leading innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tires worldwide, Cooper is in a position to have a strong, positive influence and get the right information out to young people. When it comes to preventing car crashes, we must share with young people that what you know about tires and how you treat them is just as important as how your tires are made. We’re telling young drivers that no matter where they are headed or who they are with, when everyone approaches safe driving from the tires on up, the roads will be safer for all of us. And, we’re doing this in a way that is lively, upbeat and positive, which we think is highly relatable to our audience,” Armes says.
“NOYS is thrilled to work with Cooper on this critical issue through such a creative campaign,” says Anita Boles, chief executive officer of NOYS. “Tire and driver safety messages are practical and powerful, with the potential for saving lives and reducing injury among those most at risk. We look forward to engaging youth and teaching them to ‘tread wisely’ on the road.”
In its initial stages, “Tread Wisely” will focus primarily on three key activities:
1. Development and launch of an app targeted to deliver information and utility programs related to tire and driver safety to young people. The app is in development and is expected to be launched within the 2016-2017 school year. It will be made available in English and Spanish.
2.Youth activation and Cooper employee volunteer efforts to be held at high schools and other venues will involve young people in promoting three tire safety basics: checking inflation pressure, assessing tread depth and checking the overall condition of tires. Challenges will engage youth in competitions to creatively encourage peer-to-peer education surrounding messages about taking responsibility for personal safety as well as the safety of others.
3. A Tire and Driver Safety Pavilion sponsored by Cooper will be a focal point of the NOYS Interactive Lab to be held in Washington, D.C. as a kickoff for National Teen Driver Safety Week, which begins Oct. 17. The event offers high school students a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn about a variety of safety topics, including tire and driver safety, distracted driving prevention, and sharing the road with commercial vehicles, among others. The students take what they’ve learned back to their peers, a process that will involve Cooper employee volunteers for support on site at schools.
More information is available at http://www.TreadWisely.org. Follow “Tread Wisely” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/treadwisely1, http://www.instagram.com/treadwisely1 and http://www.twitter.com/treadwisely1. Also, search for “Tread Wisely” on YouTube.
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