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MINI FINANCIAL SERVICES FOCUSES ON DISTRACTED DRIVING WHILE BLENDING SAFETY WITH FUN FOR HILLIARD-AREA HIGH SCHOOL TEENS

HILLIARD, OH, May 2, 2013 – MINI Financial Services, a division of BMW Group Financial Services, is focused on taking the distraction out of teen driving. The Hilliard-based organization is offering a free interactive distracted driving clinic to licensed high school teenagers from Hilliard’s Davidson, Bradley and Darby high schools and their parents on May 4th and 5th at the company’s Regional Service Center. More than 100 local area participants will be educated on the dangers of driver distraction through presentations as well as driving a MINI vehicle on a “coned” course with a professional racecar instructor, while enacting with a series of distracted driving elements.

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“Miles Ahead” MINI Driving Clinic Teams Internationally Accomplished Racecar Drivers with Local Teens to Educate Perils of Distracted Driving and Alcohol Consumption

 

HILLIARD, OH, May 2, 2013 – MINI Financial Services, a division of BMW Group Financial Services, is focused on taking the distraction out of teen driving.  The Hilliard-based organization is offering a free interactive distracted driving clinic to licensed high school teenagers from Hilliard’s Davidson, Bradley and Darby high schools and their parents on May 4th and 5th at the company’s Regional Service Center.  More than 100 local area participants will be educated on the dangers of driver distraction through presentations as well as driving a MINI vehicle on a “coned” course with a professional racecar instructor, while enacting with a series of distracted driving elements.

 

According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death in the United States for 3-34 year-olds, and distraction now joins alcohol and speeding as leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes.  MINI Financial Services has taken on this important cause through its “Miles Ahead MINI Teen Motoring School” held year-round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with individual programs additionally held at MINI dealerships. 

 

Wayne Orchowski, Chief Operating Officer for BMW Group Financial Services Regional Service Center, was anxious to bring the program to the local community to showcase just how quickly and easily distractions can lead to trouble behind the wheel. 

 

“While safety and fun aren’t typically found in the same sentence, MINI vehicles can demonstrate both sides of the spectrum through our carefully constructed program for teens and their parents,” said Orchowski.  “By providing a unique driving experience to younger drivers, they can immediately feel the effects of the potential dangers and realize that the phone is not the only hazardous disruption while driving.”

 

The weekend program will offer an opportunity for local high school students and their parents, as well as BMW Group Financial Services’ associates and their own teenage children, to recognize the risks of distraction during driving and realize the benefits to staying alert and responsive.

 

Driving exercises, utilizing MINI Cooper vehicles, will highlight an impairment course applying various distraction levels including:

 

  • Navigating a driving course with instructional road signs while counting backward outloud from 100 – students must read, recognize and follow all instructional signs on the course simultaneously -- research shows this cognizant effort is very similar to having a cell phone conversation

 

  • Driving while wearing “Fatal Vision goggles” which simulate an alcohol blood level of intoxication at 0.06 – while technically a legal limit in most states, this minimal amount showcases to students how even a small level of alcohol in one’s blood can cause distraction

 

  • Skid-pad demonstration performed by professional racecar instructor teaching students how to recover when a car spins out

 

Instructors for MINI clinics are young professional internationally acclaimed racecar drivers, providing expanded credibility for teenage participants.  Those performance drivers supporting the Hilliard event include:

 

Zach Veach:  18-year-old, from Ohio and currently racing Indy Lights as part of Mario Andretti’s team (Veach will be racing locally at Mid-Ohio “Indy 200” event on August 4th)

 

Stephen Simpson:  A1 Grand Prix and Champ Car Atlantic Championship racecar driver; currently residing in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Pippa Mann:  29-year-old British racing car driver, who competed in the IZOD IndyCar Series. She was born in London, United Kingdom.

 

About Miles Ahead

The “MINI Teen Motoring School” is run by Indianapolis-based Miles Ahead, providing drivers of all ages and ability levels memorable behind-the-wheel training and driving experiences. Miles Ahead is the only driving school in the 104-year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is licensed and authorized to conduct driver training on its grounds. The company was co-founded by 7-time Indy 500 and 4-time 24 Hours of Le Mans competitor, Stephan Gregoire, who leads an instructor team of internationally accomplished racecar drivers. MINI is the Official Car of Miles Ahead.

 

About BMW Group Financial Services

BMW Group Financial Services was established in the U.S. in 1992 to support the sales and marketing of BMW products. Since then, the Group has expanded to provide service to markets in multiple countries and continues to evolve beyond its role as a captive finance unit.

 

BMW Group Financial Services offers a wide range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and banking products tailored to meet the needs of the BMW customer. The Group also provides financing to BMW dealers for expanding dealership capabilities and enhancing overall operations.   With more than $34 billion in serviced assets and 1,000,000 automotive lending customers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, BMW Group Financial Services finances almost three-quarters of the BMWs sold or leased in North America.

 

BMW Group Financial Services employs more than 800 people, including consultants and temporary associates, most of whom are located in the Hilliard, Ohio, Regional Service Center, which serves the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

 

In 2001, the MINI Financial Services division was established to provide support for the brand’s dealers and its customers by offering financing and leasing options and branded financial services products. Alphera Financial Services was established in 2006 to provide financial services to multi-brand dealers.

 

BMW Group Financial Services also offers credit card products through its subsidiary, the BMW Bank of North America. up2drive.com is a division of BMW Bank of North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW Financial Services NA, LLC. BMW Insurance Agency, Inc., a property and casualty producer, is also part of BMW Group Financial Services.  Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:   www.bmwgroupna.com;    www.miniusa.com ; www.bmwusa.com; www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com ; www.bmwmotorradusa.com

 

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