May 16

Safe Driving: Phones Down Home Run with Ryan Zimmerman

The following post is in partnership with Transurban

As a pro sports athlete, Ryan Zimmerman, knows how frustrating it can be to mess up during a game. Thankfully with a baseball game, you can always shake it off and try again.

However, sometimes in life we don’t get second chances, which is why Ryan has partnered with the 495 and 95 Express Lanes for an important safety campaign focused on stopping texting among teen drivers. Ryan shares “If you text and drive, you don’t always get a second chance… just one call or text could mean game over.”

Distracted Driving

Today, more accidents are occurring on the road due to distracted driving. It is a national problem and regional concern, as more accidents occur on Northern Virginia roadways due to phone use. You may remember that I shared a safety campaign with Redskins player Kirk Cousins back in the fall. I’m excited to share more about the 495 and 95 Express Lanes’ newest safety campaign advocating safe youth driving habits in our region.

A recent survey found that 70% of teens admitted to using mobile apps while driving. When you mix young, inexperienced drivers with distractions, such as their phones, the consequences can be devastating. Right now six teens die everyday and over 650 more are injured because of accidents on the road.

Ryan Zimmerman participates in new teen safe driving campaign partnership with Virginia Express Lanes Phones Down Home Run

Phones Down Home Run

The new Phones Down Home Run campaign is aimed to bring awareness to this issue. The campaign just launched this month, coinciding with Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. “We are excited to partner with Ryan Zimmerman to increase awareness about the risks of driving distracted during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month” shared Jennifer Aument, group general manager for Transurban, the operator of the Express Lanes.

I was able to attend a press event at McLean High School last week to meet Ryan Zimmerman as well as hear from safe driving advocates on the importance of this issue.

Ryan Zimmerman signs baseball during Phones Down Home Run safety campaign launch in McLean VA

Ryan Zimmerman signs baseball during Phones Down Home Run safety campaign launch in McLean VA

Richard Shahan from Partners for Safe Teen Driving shared valuable information and statistics on teen driving, and Linda Watkins from Inova Trauma Services emphasized that trauma is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is also the most preventable. She shared her enthusiasm for the new safety campaign and the importance of young drivers taking steps to eliminate distractions while driving.

Particularly compelling were the words shared by students Mikaela Brooks from Youth of Virginia Speak Out, and Carenna Slotkoff from Sources of Strength Peer Leadership. Both young ladies expressed their concern for this epidemic and their commitment to practice safe driving while imploring their fellow students to not text and drive.

Ryan Zimmerman with youth at McLean High School

I’m glad to see Ryan Zimmerman, an esteemed, local, pro sports hero, team up with the 495 and 95 Express Lanes to encourage both teen and adult drivers to hang up on distracted driving for good by signing the Phones Down Home Run pledge.

Here’s how you can participate in the Phones Down Home Run Pledge:

Go to
Follow the prompts and click “Take the Pledge”
Fill out your first name, last name, e-mail, birthdate, and zip code then press the red “pledge” button.
By taking the pledge you commit to keep your phone down while behind the wheel. It’s easy – take the pledge and share the hashtag #PhonesDownHomeRun on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Join Ryan Zimmerman and I in taking the pledge and let’s make the Beltway and all our local roadways safer!

It's time to knock distracted driving out of the park with Virginia Express Lanes and Ryan Zimmerman's new safety campaign Phones Down Home Run

Disclosure: This blog post was sponsored by Transurban. All opinions shared in this post are my own. This is a safety campaign that I believe is valuable and relevant for my readers and for the greater Northern Virginia and DC region. For my formal disclosure policy, please click here.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Olivia Douglass May 22, 2017 at 8:30 pm

I see more and more people on their phones or distracted today than I used to! This is such an important topic and I am so glad you shared this!!


Stephen Butters June 13, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Va lawmakers need to outlaw it and police need to enforce!


Heather Johnson June 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm

All drivers need to put their phones down while driving. The risk of an accident is just too great.


Chery Pitt June 21, 2017 at 7:10 am

This is such a great initiative! Staying aware while driving is so important. I’ll take the pledge. I know too many families impacted by this issue.


Holly June 21, 2017 at 7:22 am

It’s just a matter of a second that can change a life. not to mention the ticket is expensive if caught. It really can wait.


Jennifer Spatz June 21, 2017 at 7:37 am

Such a great program for an issue that unfortunately is getting worse! Thanks for sharing!


Robyn June 21, 2017 at 7:42 am

Such an important message! Thanks for drawing more awareness!


Jennifer Martin June 21, 2017 at 8:18 am

A great initiative and hopefully a lot of young drivers take the pledge!


Patricia Hall June 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

I’ll go take the pledge now! I think it’s great this is aimed at young drivers… it’s very scary how much distracted driving is becoming a problem, that’s for sure!


Jessica Simms June 21, 2017 at 10:08 am

Just took the pledge and love this! Distractions while driving is such a big problem with teens and adults alike. I stress to my preteens that once they do have the ability to drive they will have to be diligent and keep their eyes on the road and not their phones. This is awesome!


Ashley Langston June 21, 2017 at 11:55 am

Amazing message and pledge


Maggie Miller June 21, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Great cause I can totally get behind!


Tonia Sanders June 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

This is a great cause to get behind. It’s so important to remember that driving while distracted isn’t just dangerous for us, but it puts others in danger as well.


Scott June 21, 2017 at 10:13 pm

We just saw an almost-accident today, all because of a phone. The girl barely stopped in time and almost went through an intersection (she had a red light).


Lorena June 23, 2017 at 10:24 am

The thing some people think they have everything under control but is not so sad this still happen thank you so much for this great info


Nolu June 24, 2017 at 10:18 am

Lost three friends in an accident and the other driver was on their phone. sadly we still see this happening daily


FS page June 24, 2017 at 10:30 am

This is such an important initiative. And i am glad it is coming at the right time when more and more people fall prey to this basic issue. I wish people had more self discipline and i am sure your initiative will help long way


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