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Toyota and Discovery Education court teens to teach them to drive safely

Toyota and Discovery Education are teaming to create the Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge. In it, students in high school will be asked to create 2-minute videos "describing how they would encourage safe driving among their peers."

The challenge is a component of the Toyota Teen Driver program, a comprehensive online site on which teachers, students and parents find materials that help teens avoid distractions and stay safe while driving.

The video challenge encourages students to creatively judge what responsible driving is and to share that with teen peers. Judged on the creativity expressed in their video and uniqueness of their content, entries will be narrowed to 10 finalists by professionals from Discovery Education.

The finalists’ videos will appear on the Toyota Teen Driver Web site and Facebook page. That way fans can vote to determine a grand prize winner. The winner will receive a $20,000 cash prize and the remaining nine finalists will each receive $1,500 in cash. Students in grades 9-12 can submit their videos on the Toyota Teen Driver site through Feb. 16.

“Toyota is dedicated to building awareness among teens about the dangers of distracted driving and encouraging people of all ages to adopt safe driving habits,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy for Toyota Motor North America.

“We’re excited to launch the new Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge and empower young people to be advocates for responsible driving within their own peer groups and schools.”

In addition to the new student challenge, the Toyota Teen Driver Educators’ Challenge is also open for its second year of entries. This year, educators will be charged with developing an action plan on how they would improve safe teen driving at their school and/or in their community. The first place winner will receive a free Toyota Driving Expectations event for their community, a program designed by Toyota to help young drivers develop safe driving habits through a unique combination of interactive hands-on sessions and behind the wheel defensive driving exercises.

The winner will also receive a virtual driving simulator for their school to keep and a $5,000 grant to help implement their action plan at their school. The second-place winner will be awarded with a virtual driving simulator for their school to keep and a $1,500 grant. The winners’ submissions will also be incorporated into the Toyota Teen Driver site as a resource for other educators to use.

“Discovery Education is proud to work with Toyota as we fulfill our commitment to finding creative and engaging ways to captivate students’ attention on current and relevant topics that span beyond the classroom,” said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president of education partnerships. “The digital learning resources available from Toyota Teen Driver combined with the ability for teens to educate each other on safe driving are critical in creating a safe driving experience on the road.”

Hawke Fracassa covers the auto beat from Detroit for TN. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Toyota


Frank Gibson (not verified)    November 7, 2011 - 5:16PM

Keeping teen driver’s safe is something we all feel strongly about. That’s why we developed MOTOsafety, a new service that helps parents monitor and coach their teenage drivers. We worked with members of law enforcement, driving instructors and accident investigators to develop this powerful tool. The service gives parents a daily report card showing how their teen performs on key safe driving habits such as speeding, harsh braking and rapid acceleration. We believe MOTOsafety gives parents a great way to increase the safety of their teen drivers. Learn more at

Online traffic (not verified)    November 16, 2011 - 7:26AM

Here's a concept: DRIVE SLOWER. Almost every accident that occurs in any road conditions, but especially during winter conditions, is because the driver is either driving the speed limit or faster. YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN FOR THE WEATHER CONDITIONS.