Toyota and Discovery Education Host Toyota Teen Driver Community Night in Philadelphia
Free Event Will Feature the Hosts of “Car Fix,” Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman, as well as Flyers Legend Bob “The Hound” Kelly, plus Interactive Exhibits from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dosomething.org and The Office of Driver Education of the School District of Philadelphia
New Local Study Finds More Than a Quarter of Philadelphia Teens Text While Driving
Today, Toyota and Discovery Education announced they will host Toyota Teen Driver Community Night at Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia this evening to educate teens on road safety while raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The free event, which will welcome teens, parents and educators from Martin Luther King High School and Germantown High School, is part of Toyota Teen Driver, a joint education program by Toyota and Discovery Education that aims to help teen drivers stay safe.
Nationally, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, and summer marks the deadliest time of year for teen drivers.1
“At Toyota, we have a longstanding commitment to teen safety,” said Latondra Newton, Toyota group vice president of philanthropy and chief diversity officer. “We’ve offered teen safety programs for years, from our behind-the-wheel defensive driving courses and comprehensive online resources to world-class research and community education events, like Toyota Teen Driver Community Night. We’re very excited to join with our partner Discovery Education in hosting this event and look forward to helping Philadelphia teen drivers and their parents stay safe on the road this summer and beyond.”
“Discovery Education remains committed to providing teachers, students and their families with creative and engaging resources to keep teens safe behind the wheel,” said Mary Rollins, vice president, Discovery Education. “We are thrilled to stand alongside Toyota to provide a unique opportunity for the Philadelphia community to connect on and explore issues that transcend into their everyday lives.”
Toyota Teen Driver Community Night will offer a forum for Toyota, Discovery Education and local community partners to encourage honest discussions between teens and their parents on the dangers of distracted driving. The interactive exhibits at the event will include:
- Safe driving information from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dosomething.org, The School District of Philadelphia’s Driver Education Program and school-sponsored clubs and programs;
- Heads Up!, an online game from Toyota Teen Driver, which offers a driving simulation that demonstrates the dangers of distracted driving;
- Test Your Knowledge, a game show-style quiz that uses Toyota Teen Driver curriculum to test participants knowledge of road safety;
- A raffle where students are encouraged to discuss previous experiences with distracted driving and make a pledge with their parents to change behaviors by signing the Toyota Teen Driver’s Mutual Driving Agreement;
- Advice from Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman, the hosts of the Velocity Network’s “Car Fix,” on common and not-so-common car issues;
- Vehicles on display courtesy of Tri- State Toyota Dealers that offer a first-hand look at in-car safety features and technology;
- The opportunity to meet Philadelphia Flyers Legend Bob "The Hound" Kelly, as well as a DJ, photo booth and food and refreshments.
Study Reveals Local Distracted Driving Trends for Teens in Philadelphia
Findings released today by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in conjunction with the event reveal distracted driving trends for teens in the Philadelphia area. The findings are from the UMTRI/Toyota Teen Driver Distraction Study, a major, national study of teen drivers (ages 16 to 18) and parents of teens.
- Twenty-seven percent of Philadelphia teen drivers read a text or email once or more every time they drive, compared to thirty percent nationally. Twenty-three percent will respond to a text once or more every time they drive, compared to twenty-four percent nationally. Sixteen percent of teens in Philadelphia admit to having extended text message conversations while behind the wheel.
- Forty-eight percent of Philadelphia teens and fifty percent of adults admit to using a hand-held device while driving, suggesting that adults can be powerful role models for young drivers.
- Almost seven out of every ten (sixty-eight percent) teen drivers in Philadelphia reported driving with two or three teen passengers and without adults, which according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is associated with a doubling of a driver’s risk of being killed in a crash.2 Forty-four percent drive with more than three teen passengers and no adults, which is associated with roughly a quadrupling of a driver’s risk of being killed in a crash.3
- Fifty-four percent of area teens search for music on a portable music player, such as an iPod, while driving, compared to only eleven percent of parents. Additionally, more than one in ten (twelve percent) of Philadelphia teens admit to updating or checking social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, while behind the wheel.
“A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field while wearing a blindfold,” said Dr. Tina Sayer, Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) Principal Engineer and teen safety driving expert. “It is critical for parents to talk to their teens about driving distractions and to always be the drivers they want their teens to be.”
In addition to sponsoring Toyota Teen Driver Community Nights, Toyota Teen Driver provides educators, parents and students with free online resources to help teens become safer drivers, including curriculum, parent coaching guides, and take-home activities to initiate important conversations about the life-changing choices that teens can make behind the wheel. For more information, visit www.toyotateendriver.com.
Toyota Teen Driver is just one of the initiatives from Toyota that is designed to help keep teens safe on the road. Toyota Driving Expectations (www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com) provides hands-on, real world defensive driving courses that go far beyond what is taught in standard driver education courses, while The Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (www.toyota.com/csrc) works with leading North American Universities, hospitals, research institutions and agencies and includes research designed to better understand teen drivers’ risks and behaviors and identify effective recommendations to help keep them safe. Toyota also is hosting Arrive in Style (www.teenvogue.com/arriveinstyle), a safe driving campaign with Teen Vogue to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving among teenage girls and inspire them to make a mutual commitment with their mothers to drive safely.
About the UMTRI/Toyota Teen Driver Distraction Study
American Directions conducted the national telephone survey of 2,610 newly licensed drivers between the ages of 16 and 18, as well as 2,934 parents of drivers in this age group from August through September, 2012.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 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. To date, Toyota has contributed nearly 700 million to philanthropic programs in the United States.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit www.Toyota.com/philanthropy.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations around the world to transform teaching and learning with innovative content and services that support educators and accelerate academic achievement. With a presence in over half of all US schools and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education fuels educational transformation with award-winning multimedia content including digital textbooks, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 and community college instruction. Explore the future of education at http://www.discoveryeducation.com.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
2 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers”