Nevada City native and IndyCar star Alexander Rossi teams with CHP to combat distracted driving

Even though he's spent plenty of time behind the wheel, Nevada City native Alexander Rossi says distracted driving crashes are preventable.

According to Impact Teen Drivers, the number of teenagers killed in distracted driving crashes each year can fill eight large yellow school buses. On Wednesday IndyCar drivers and CHP officers teamed up in an effort to raise awareness to the dangers of distracted driving.

Nevada City native Alexander Rossi, who won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 last year, says even though he's a professional driver even he understands how easy it can be to get distracted on the road.

"It's just as easy for a normal driver and we have to cut down on the incidents," Rossi said. "They're not accidents, they're avoidable. And it's part of our job as professional racing drivers to spread that message to not only the youth but to adult drivers as well."

Rossi along with fellow IndyCar driver Conor Daly had the opportunity to take a couple laps on the CHP Academy's Skid Pan to practice their safe driving techniques in wet conditions.

For one CHP officer, knowing how easy it is for teenagers to get distracted while driving on the road hits close to home.

"I have a 16-year-old daughter who just got her drivers license and myself, as a CHP officer, it's part of our constant conversation," Commander of the CHP Academy James Mann said. "No texting while driving, obviously it's against the law, but it's also good practice. I've learned to set the example as a father a long time ago and hold myself accountable."

Rossi also had a message for young drivers on the road: "if you have a need for speed or a desire to go quickly I encourage anyone to go to a racetrack."

Rossi is preparing for the IndyCar season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, September 15-17.

 

Follow Lina Washington on Twitter @LWashingtonTV

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