Allstate Facebook campaign aims for awareness of teen driving deaths

Northbrook-based Allstate is hoping you'll black out your Facebook profile picture, all to help bring awareness to teen driving deaths.

The new campaign starts today, May 20, at Save 11 focuses on this particular day because that's when the most teen drivers nationwide have died, an average of 11, compared to any other day of the year. That's due to a combination of warm weather, parties, friends and the end of school, according to Allstate and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While the Facebook promotion on teen driving deaths has been up for a while and has about 73,000 friends, the blackout portion is new today. The company wants you to click on the black square that will replace your profile photo. It aims to promote awareness and to help stop teen drivers from being reckless, said Allstate spokeswoman Emily Pukala.

“May 20 is one of the 10 worst driving days of the year and most of the other days are now through August,” said Pakula. “So we're entering into the heart of that season now.”

Allstate is hoping thousands of Facebook fans will use the black square as a sign of unity. It's also a campaign to support the Standup Act, which gives states resources to help improve safe driving standards among teens, she said.

The company also continues another Facebook campaign called XtheTEXT to keep drivers from being distracted with texting. It also encourages teens to pledge that they won't text and drive.

At school events featuring XtheTEXT, an Allstate representative hands out rubber thumb bands as a reminder to teens to stop before picking up their smartphone while driving. The events also ask teens to provide their thumb print on a poster board as a commitment that they'll avoid texting while driving, she said.

Surfing: Comcast Corp., which has its Midwest headquarters in Schaumburg, launched its personal 4G/3G Mobile Hotspot, also know as the MiFi 4082 by Novatel Wireless. It allows users to simultaneously connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to the Internet while on the go. The pocket-size device is a Wi-Fi router that uses Xfinity Internet 2go service to create a portable Wi-Fi hot spot.

ŸThe HTC Trophy, the Windows Phone 7 device, is coming to Verizon Wireless starting online on May 26 and in stores on June 2. It lets you play games with Xbox Live. It will cost $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer contract. Verizon has its Midwest headquarters in Schaumburg.

ŸChicago-based ProClip USA, which provides in-car mountings for consumers, said it will partner with Research in Motion, which has offices in Rolling Meadows and Lincolnshire. RIM will provide a holder for your device in the car that includes the Built For BlackBerry logo.

ŸOak Brook-based Latisys is expanding its data center campus to include an additional 10,000 square feet of raised floor space and 2.5 megawatts of additional power. The expanded space will be available to business customers starting in June. The new facility was unveiled on May 11.

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