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April 3, 2019

NASCAR Star Bubba Wallace and Richard Petty Motorsports Partners BASF and 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division Team Up with the National Auto Body Council to Put the Brakes on Distracted Driving

Take the Pledge to End Distracted Driving — Text NABC to 50555

NASCAR star Bubba Wallace, who drives the legendary No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, is teaming up with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) again to put the brakes on distracted driving.

Distracted driving, particularly related to cell phone use, has become one of the most significant factors in vehicle accidents in the U.S.  Many states are enacting tough laws banning phone use in the car with stiff fines attached.

Working with Petty Motorsports partners BASF, the official paint of the team, and 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, Wallace is sharing his tips and advice for reducing distractions on the road, especially for younger drivers.

“I love being on my phone and sharing what I’m doing with my friends, family and followers,” said Wallace.  “But as a NASCAR driver, I know that even the slightest distraction that takes your focus off what is in front of you can put you in the wall.  When I get in my race car, I take the time to focus my attention and make sure everything is set before I fire up the engine.  And it’s the same when I get in my daily drive – I check my directions and set my GPS, line up my music and make sure my phone is put up where I can’t see it and am not tempted to answer it. Your car covers 45 feet in one second at 30 mph – that’s one quick look at your cell phone. We all need to make the effort to put down our phones and put the brakes on distracted driving!”

Wallace, who has spent more than a decade competing in a variety of racing series, offers these tips for staying safe and focused on the road:

• Don’t answer your phone or check messages while driving. Better yet, turn these devices off when you get into your car or put them in the console
• Hands-free technology doesn’t mean accident free – talking on the phone is still a distraction from the road
• Never text and drive! Texting takes your eyes and mind off the road and your hands off the wheel.
• Deal with distractions such as eating, putting on make-up, reading, combing your hair and checking messages before you hit the road.
• Be well rested before getting behind the wheel. If you are out late or too tired to drive home, sleep over or call Uber.
• Ensure you have clear directions to your destination and check them before you leave. Listen to your GPS device; don’t look at it.
• Adjust the seat, headrest, seatbelt, rear-view mirror, climate control, radio, etc. to your liking before you drive – and if you’re driving a rental car, make sure you’re familiar with all the controls in advance.
• Pull over if you need to make a call, check a message, deal with passengers, eat or drink.
• Tell everyone that for safety reasons, you no longer answer calls or respond to messages while driving.
• Ask passengers to keep chatter to a minimum and help you navigate.
• For young drivers, remind friends that safety comes first – no selfies in the car, seatbelts always in use and no distracting the driver.
• Install an app on their phone that block texts and phone calls when you are behind the wheel.

“We’re proud to work with our NABC members BASF and 3M and partner with Bubba Wallace on this program.  When you look at the dangers on the road today, distracted driving has become a critical issue,” says Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the National Auto Body Council.  “On-board technology and cell phones take drivers’ attention away from the road in front of them.  And advanced safety systems provide a false sense of security.  We want to help educate drivers of all ages about the dangers of distracted driving and how to eliminate these distractions behind the wheel.”

“As a partner with the National Auto Body Council and their Distracted Driving initiative, we are proud to support this program to help educate drivers about being safer on the road,” said Daniel Bihlmeyer, Director of Marketing for BASF.  “And, as a partner with Richard Petty Motorsports, we couldn’t have a better representative for this program than the driver of the No. 43 Petty Ford – Bubba Wallace.”

“It is so important for everyone, but in particular our younger people, to realize how seconds of distraction can affect your life or someone else’s forever,” said Vicki Eggleston, Global Marketing Operations Manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “It’s definitely an important message and we are happy to partner with BASF, NABC and Richard Petty Motorsports and support this initiative.”

The National Auto Body Council’s Distracted Driving initiative, a business advocate partner with AT&T’s It Can Wait program, cites AT&T research in highlighting the severity of the problem:

Distracted driving is a pervasive problem.1
• Nearly 9-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving

• Some 97 % of teens say texting while driving is dangerous — yet alarmingly 43% admit to doing so
• Nearly a quarter of people don’t see distracted driving as a major problem
• Nearly 5-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving
• Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And almost 3-in-10 video chat!

Habitual behaviors play a strong role.2
• Nearly 1-in-10 drivers call distracted driving a habit
• Habitual distracted drivers have a false sense of security in their actions. Only 58% feel that using their smartphone behind the wheel is “very dangerous,” compared to 78% of non-habitual distracted drivers. Ironically, they’re also twice as likely to have been involved in a near crash or a collision
• Some 57% of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if a friend or passenger encourages them to

When drivers are alone, they behave differently.3
• Only 36% of drivers look at their smartphone with passengers in the car, compared to more than 6-in-10 (64%) without a passenger

• People look at their phone even less when the passenger is a child

1 Online survey with 7,505 respondents (total distracted drivers n=6,438) conducted by Kantar Added Value. Ongoing survey, data represented here were collected January 2017- December 2017. National panel sample (ages 15-54, drive, and have a smartphone).

2 Source: Online survey with 61,325 respondents (total distracted drivers n=5,766) conducted by Added Value. Ongoing survey, data represented here were collected June 2012-July 2016. National panel sample (ages 15-54, drive, and have a smartphone).

3 Source: Cellphone survey with 1,003 respondents conducted by Braun Research. Survey fielded August 18-23, 2015 Nationally representative sample (ages 16-65, drive and use smartphone apps).


About The National Auto Body Council
The National Auto Body Council is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities we serve. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council has gifted more than  2,000 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities to over 1,000 First Responders and contributed to thousands of distracted driving pledges in our communities through NABC Recycled Rides™, First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) and the Distracted Driving Initiative.  That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit

About BASF Automotive Refinish
BASF’s Automotive Refinish business manufactures and markets coatings for the collision repair, commercial fleet and automotive specialty markets. Its paint products are supported by technical training programs, advanced color information systems, business management and planning tools. For more information visit

About BASF
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 18,200 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.9 billion in 2017. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at

 About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $33 billion in sales, our 93,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.

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