New Country is encouraging all Connecticut teens to sign the "Contract for Life" to not drive distracted. In doing so, the dealer group will donate $1 for every signature gathered in May to the local Connecticut chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD.
It marks the second year New Country has participated. Last year's initiative raised $500 for SADD.
New Country, which also has dealers in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland, has added a sponsorship of the Real Art Ways Creative Cocktail Hour May 21 as well. It will ask each attendee to make a $1 donation to SADD and discover some of the dangers of distracted driving while enjoying art and music at the Hartford gathering.
"I have four kids, all of whom I taught to drive, and eight grandkids and cell phones scare me," Peter Keast, general manager of New Country BMW, told Edmunds. "As an automotive company, we have a responsibility to prevent distracted driving."
Keast is also working to sponsor a classroom full of teen drivers at the Tire Rack Street Survival School, a one-day program sponsored by BMW that instructs teens on how to control a car in unpredictable situations.
"It's still in the works, but I'd rather eliminate sponsoring a golf tournament if it means putting our community-service dollars toward the future drivers in Hartford," Keast said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says distracted driving is a ?dangerous epidemic on America?s roadways.?
In 2013, 3,154 were killed in distracted-driving crashes, according to government statistics.
Edmunds says: Every bit helps as one dealership group is working hard to put the brakes on distracted driving.