February 17th, 2011
Toyota’s Free Safe Driving Program Educates Teens and Parents About Dangers of Distracted Driving
TORRANCE, CALIF. (Feb. 10, 2011) – Committed to reducing teen driving fatalities and educating teens and parents about the dangers of distracted driving, Toyota is continuing its national FREE advanced teen driving skills program, Toyota Driving Expectations
. Since the program began in 2004, nearly 16,000 teens and parents have gained critical defensive driving skills and learned firsthand how everyday distractions, to which new drivers are especially prone, can have unexpected, dangerous consequences.
In March, Toyota Driving Expectations events will be held at the following locations:
• Cal Expo in Sacramento, Calif., March 12 – 13
• Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance, Calif., March 19 – 20
• Bass Pro Shops in Grapevine, Texas, March 26 – 27
Participating teenagers must be between the ages of 15-19 and have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit. Registration for Toyota Driving Expectations events in Sacramento, Calif. and Grapevine, Texas is currently open online at www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com
. Though the Torrance, Calif. event is at capacity, interested participants can still sign up for the waitlist, as well as the mailing list to be notified about future local Toyota Driving Expectations events.
In the United States, the crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is four times that of older drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Moreover, in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5,000 people were killed on U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. Within this statistic, the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was under the age of 20. In an effort to help young drivers develop safe driving habits, Toyota Driving Expectations goes beyond what is taught in standard driver education courses, putting newly permitted or licensed 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
• Experience firsthand the dangers of distracted driving and understand the relationship between distraction and reaction time
• Understand vehicle dynamics and safety features
In an effort to foster an open dialogue between teens and parents about safe driving habits, a parent or guardian is required to attend the Toyota Driving Expectations program. As a result, parents learn the best practices to promote responsible driving habits with their teen drivers, providing them with tips about how to continue improving driving skills at home.
The curriculum for Toyota Driving Expectations was developed in partnership with multiple organizations committed to safe driving, including the National Safety Council and the Defensive Driving Academy in California, as well as from direct teen and parent feedback at three highly successful pilot programs.
“By bringing Toyota Driving Expectations to cities across the country, Toyota is committed to reducing the rate of fatalities and accidents among young drivers.” – Michael Rouse, Toyota’s vice president of philanthropy and community affairs