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Westfield Insurance Joins The Mid-Ohio School to Launch Unique Teen Driving Initiative

In response to the national epidemic of driving accidents and fatalities impacting teenagers, The Mid-Ohio School has announced a multi-year partnership with Westfield Insurance to create a unique safety initiative for teenage drivers.

Westfield Center, Ohio-based Westfield Insurance, which will also become the official insurance company of The Mid-Ohio School, will promote Road Safe Teens, an initiative that will send 200 Ohio newly licensed drivers to The Mid-Ohio School’s Honda Teen Defensive Driving Program on August 4.

“This is a way we can give back to our community and policy holders by helping them protect the newest drivers in their household,” says Roger McManus, chief operating officer for Westfield Insurance. “It’s about savings lives. The Mid-Ohio School has an excellent program and we’re glad to partner with them on this initiative.”

The initiative will provide inexperienced teenage drivers with the necessary skills to succeed at accident avoidance by practicing emergency driving situations in a safe and controlled environment. In the classroom, teens will learn the physics and dynamics of good driving, including collision avoidance and skid control. In the Honda Vehicle Dynamics Center, teens will apply their classroom knowledge through hands-on driving activities including wet braking, emergency lane change, slalom, and a skid car drill, which simulates driving in weather conditions such as ice, snow and rain.

National teen driving statistics echo the importance of comprehensive teen driving training, an effort of which The Mid-Ohio School through their Honda Teen Defensive Driving Program, has been involved in for 15 years.

1 in 3 teenage drivers has an accident in the first year of licensure.

A teenager is injured in a car crash every 55 seconds.

A teenager is killed in a car crash every 64.5 minutes.

The average 16-year-old soccer player has had 1,500 hours of coached soccer practice, but only 50 hours of driving experience is required in Ohio for a driver’s license.

“We’re pleased to welcome Westfield Insurance to The Mid-Ohio School, and to partner with them in implementing this initiative,” said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, president of TrueSports, Inc., owner and operator of The Mid-Ohio School. “For one of the largest companies in Ohio to embrace our mission of saving thousands of teens from losing their lives is truly a pivotal moment for our company.”

Westfield Insurance’s partnership with The Mid-Ohio School represents another step in the company’s growing motorsports presence. Westfield Insurance also serves as presenting sponsor of the IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, aptly named, The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance, to be held on July 20, 2008. Westfield Insurance is also the official insurance company of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

In business for 160 years, Westfield Insurance provides commercial and personal insurance in 18 states and surety services to customers in 28 states. Westfield is one of the nation’s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups, represented by a network of over 1,200 independent insurance agencies. Westfield is one of the nation’s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups, represented by a network of over 1,200 independent insurance agencies. Westfield puts words into actions by supporting nonprofit organizations and choosing sponsorships that make a difference in the communities where we work and live. These efforts help us achieve business success in ways that honor our values and respect for people. Learn more about Westfield Insurance at www.westfieldinsurance.com.

The Mid-Ohio School provides professional driving and riding instruction to drivers and motorcyclists of all skill levels. The school’s 18 programs vary from Defensive Driving, Performance Driving and Racing programs on the automobile side, to Beginning, Experienced and Performance Track Riding programs on the motorcycle side. Students enjoy classroom sessions, skill drills, expert private instruction and lapping on the same track that challenges the world’s top racers. Students participating in the driving school may use their own street-legal car or one of The Mid-Ohio School’s official cars: Honda Civic EX Coupes, Acura TSX A-SPECs and Honda S2000 roadsters. The Mid-Ohio School, celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2008, has graduated 27,000 students, including 9,000 teenagers, with the support of partners American Honda Motor Co., Westfield Insurance, JEGS, Performance Friction Brakes, CORSA Performance Exhausts, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Sunoco, Kumho Tires and KTM.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, TrueSports, Incorporated is a privately held motorsports entertainment enterprise. The company owns and operates Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, and promotes a wide variety of motor racing, driver instruction, corporate, and family entertainment events throughout the year.

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