Story inspired by 3-year-old Navajo boy who loved superheroes
New data shows that despite the dangers, many drivers are continuing to text, shop online and update social media while behind the wheel
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) today announced the release of “Zaadii: The Legend of Z-Hawk,” a comic book inspired by 3-year-old Zaadii Tozhon Tso, who was tragically killed by a distracted driver in 2015.
Zaadii’s greatest joy in life was superheroes, so the company commissioned renowned comic book writers and artists Gail Simone, Jim Calafiore and Jeffrey Veregge, and worked closely with Zaadii’s family, to design a story honoring the young boy as one of the first Navajo superheroes. “Zaadii: The Legend of Z-Hawk” will be revealed at New York Comic Con’s virtual event, happening Oct. 8-11.
The comic is the latest in Travelers’ Unfinished Stories series, which aims to honor lives cut short because of distracted driving. The company’s ongoing campaign is meant to encourage people to stay focused while driving.
“It breaks my heart to think about a young life needlessly lost because of a distracted driver,” said Lisa Caputo, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience at Travelers. “By honoring Zaadii’s memory in this comic, we are continuing to educate people across the country about the very real and sad outcomes that can occur when drivers engage in high-risk behaviors. We greatly appreciate the talented team who created Z-Hawk and hope this story compels people to pay closer attention to the road.”
Simone, Calafiore and Veregge, along with John Morris, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Integrated Marketing at Travelers, will take part in New York Comic Con’s Metaverse during a virtual panel session, streaming on YouTube on Oct. 11 at 1:50 p.m. ET. The panelists will talk about the inspiration for the project, the making of the comic and the larger goal of calling attention to the risks of distracted driving.
Simone, a New York Times bestselling author, said about writing the project, “It’s an honor to get to tell this story in memory of this very special child. With the help of his wonderful family, we feel like we are sharing his dream with the world, while hopefully reminding people of the dangers of distracted driving.”
Despite the known dangers, drivers are taking their attention away from the road. A recent survey of consumers in the 2020 Travelers Risk Index found that while many acknowledge distracted driving as the cause of most vehicle crashes, drivers continue to engage in the behavior at significant rates. Nearly 40% of Generation Z respondents believe they can safely drive while distracted, and one-third of millennials report that they have nearly crashed because of distracted driving.
A separate study conducted by Travelers found that a significant number of people continue to engage in risky behaviors while driving during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Shopping online – 36%
- Updating social media – 37%
- Recording videos or taking pictures – 37%
- Texting – 47%
- Making or receiving phone calls – 74%
These and other distractions have prompted the National Safety Council to designate October as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
“The dangers of distracted driving are real, and we commend Travelers for drawing attention to this issue,” said Lorraine M. Martin, President and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The comic book paying tribute to Zaadii is a heartfelt, creative way to further communicate the importance of driving distraction-free, and we are hopeful that it will lead to safer drivers on our roads.”
To access a digital copy of “Zaadii: The Legend of Z-Hawk,” visit Travelers.com/Zaadii. For more information about Travelers’ efforts to combat distracted driving, including the Travelers Institute’s education campaign Every Second Matters℠, visit Travelers.com/distracteddriving.
About Travelers’ Data
To measure perceptions of distracted driving, Hart Research conducted a national online survey of 1,000 consumers, ages 18 to 69, in December 2019. Separately, Travelers surveyed 500 consumers in September 2020.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $32 billion in 2019. For more information, visit Travelers.com.
Sperry Mylott, 860.277.5075