Parents and Teens to Experience Dangers of Distracted Driving and Learn Critical Defensive Driving Skills
TORRANCE, CALIF. (September 8, 2010) – With safe driving and a commitment to reducing teen driving fatalities a top priority, Toyota continues to offer its FREE advanced teen driving skills program, “Toyota Driving Expectations.” Since 2004, more than 14,000 teens and parents have been educated and empowered to become safer drivers, as well as learn firsthand about the dangers of distracted driving.
In October, a Toyota Driving Expectations event will be held at Bass Pro Shops, a long- time Toyota partner, in the following cities:
- Foxborough, Mass., October 2 – 3
- Clarksville, Ind., October 9 – 10
- Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., October 16 – 17
Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, accounting for over 35% of teen fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In an effort to prepare young drivers with crucial safety knowledge, Toyota Driving Expectations goes beyond what is taught in standard driver education classes, putting teens behind the wheel to face challenging, real-world scenarios in a secure environment. The program’s curriculum is designed for teens and parents alike to:
- Learn defensive driving skills and accident avoidance techniques
- Identify the dangerous driving situations that they encounter daily
- Understand vehicle dynamics and safety features
- Experience firsthand the dangers of distracted driving and understand the relationship between distraction and reaction time
A parent or guardian is required to attend the Toyota Driving Expectations program, which provides an opportunity to create an open dialogue about safe driving habits, paving the way for parents and teens to continue improving driving skills at home.
“Toyota is dedicated to supporting both teens and parents in developing safe, responsible driving habits and protecting them on the road,” said Michael Rouse, Toyota’s vice president of philanthropy and community affairs. “In particular, by simulating real-world hazards such as distracted driving, teens and parents will learn how to best handle these situations – invaluable experience that goes beyond basic driver education training.”
Each class begins with an opening session for all participants where they are introduced to the privilege and risks associated with driving. Teens and parents are then separated into different groups to learn a variety of topics which will help them develop safe driving practices.
While driving on different courses under the supervision of professional drivers, teens practice techniques to best keep their eyes on the road; learn multiple accident avoidance maneuvers; and experience firsthand how everyday distractions, to which new drivers are especially prone, can have unexpected, dangerous consequences. Parents will participate in multiple defensive driving and classroom activities designed to help them become effective role models and coaches for their teen drivers.
At the end of the program, teens and parents join together to discuss a safe driving agreement, providing a foundation for an open dialogue about responsible driving habits at home.
Beginning with the October events, Toyota Driving Expectations will be presented in cooperation with long-time partner Bass Pro Shops.
“Toyota has been a partner of ours for 6 years. When the Toyota Driving Expectations team at Toyota approached us about hosting the event at our locations we jumped at the opportunity,” says Stan Lippelman vice president of marketing for Bass Pro Shops. “As a retailer for recreational sports, safety is at the core of our mission. Similarly to Toyota, Bass Pro Shops is dedicated to teen safety –whether teens are behind the wheel of a vehicle or participating in recreational activities such as hunting or fishing, Bass Pro Shops believes education is the key to safety.”
The National Safety Council, a leading resource on strategies for advancing safety and health programs, has been a partner to Toyota Driving Expectations since its start. The program includes elements of the Council’s signature driving programs, including Alive at 25 and Family Guide to Teen Drivers
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs nearly 34,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $493 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit www.toyota.com/about/philanthropy
. About Bass Pro Shops Group
Bass Pro Shops -56 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 109 million people annually, international catalog and internet retailing, American Rod & Gun wholesale division selling to over 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide, Outdoor World Incentives also selling Bass Pro Shops gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America and a restaurant division with 26 locations. Tracker Marine Group – Manufactures and sells Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly, and Mako, boats through Bass Pro Shops retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide. Resort Group – Big Cedar Lodge and other resort properties including restaurants and golf course. About National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org
) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes, communities and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.