September 12, 2007 – Torrance, CA - One of the most important events in a teenager's life is obtaining a driver's license. But while young drivers account for just 6.6 percent of all licensed drivers, they account for nearly 14 percent of all fatal crashes. For Arizona residents, these devastating national statistics became a local reality after an August crash caused by text-messaging while driving claimed the life of a Glendale teen. In an effort to improve these odds, Toyota is launching its fall 2007 program to promote safe driving among teens, Toyota Driving Expectations, in Avondale, Ariz. at Phoenix International Raceway, October 5 – 7 and 12 – 14.
Offered free of charge, this unique program designed to teach teens and parents defensive driving techniques against a backdrop of real-world scenarios, is coming to the Valley of the Sun to help prevent future teen driving deaths. In Avondale, multiple program sessions will be held over two consecutive weekends—two four-hour sessions on Friday, October 5, six four-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 – 7, two four-hour sessions on Friday, October 12 and six four-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday, October 13 – 14. Session hours are between 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday and between 8 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Online registration will open September 14, 2007 at www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com.
"Toyota is committed to providing teens with the tools they need to be better prepared on the road and to become better drivers," said Michael Rouse, Toyota's corporate manager of national philanthropy and community affairs. "Since its inception in 2004, more than 5,500 teens and parents have successfully completed the Toyota Driving Expectations program, which was developed after several pilots and valuable feedback from teens, parents and the National Safety Council."
Toyota Driving Expectations goes beyond what is currently taught in typical driver training classes in order to help teens identify and react to dangerous driving situations. To better understand the critical relationship between distractions and reaction time, teens and parents navigate a driving course while drinking water, listening to loud music and talking on a cell phone. They also experience hard braking maneuvers on wet and dry pavement and maneuver through multiple slalom driving courses under the watchful eyes of professional drivers.
Another unique aspect of Toyota Driving Expectations is that a parent or guardian must accompany the teen driver to the four-hour program. Parents and teens are split into separate groups for part of the course, allowing parents to learn about vehicle safety technology, defensive driving and how to design and set realistic expectations for their teen. The program concludes with teens and parents reuniting to develop a safe driving contract to be put into practice when the families return home.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and will operate 15 manufacturing plants in North America by 2010. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2006. Toyota directly employs over 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18.6 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $28.5 billion. According to a 2005 Center for Automotive Research study, Toyota, along with its dealers and suppliers, has generated nearly 400,000 U.S. jobs, including jobs created through spending by direct, dealer and suppliers employees. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.
All materials on this site are for editorial use only. The use of these materials for advertising, marketing or any other commercial purpose is prohibited. They may be cropped but not otherwise modified. To download these materials, you must agree to abide by these terms.