CHICAGO, Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois teen drivers, ages 16 – 20, were at the wheel during 58,392 accidents in 2010, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. In an effort to reduce the number of teen related crashes and to educate teens and parents about the dangers of distracted driving, Toyota is hosting its free advanced driving skills program, Toyota Driving Expectations, for newly licensed or permitted teens and their parents at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., October 20-21. Interested participants must have a driver's license or learner's permit and pre-register online at www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com.
Toyota established the free safe teen driving program in 2004 to supplement standard driving education courses with real-time opportunities to learn about defensive driving, the impact of distractions, and safe habits. The "On the Road" 2.5-hour course involves both driving time and classroom discussions, and is unique for requiring the participation of a parent or guardian to support coaching within the family so they can continue to act as role models and teachers at home. Nearly 20,000 teens and parents have participated in the "On the Road" Toyota Driving Expectations program, which was among the first to understand the importance of and include parents in safe driving programs for teen drivers.
Taught by professional drivers, 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. The program's curriculum is designed for teens and parents alike to:
- Learn defensive driving skills and crash avoidance techniques, such as best practices for focusing on the road
- Identify and respond to the potentially 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, including how to engage an anti-lock braking system
Building upon the eight-year success of its behind-the-wheel safety workshops, Toyota has expanded Toyota Driving Expectations offering the following road safety programs in select cities:
- In Dealerships: A free interactive Teen Driver Safety Clinic that provides pre-drivers and new drivers and their parents with car care basics to prepare for the road ahead.
- In High Schools: An assembly with NHRA Pro Stock Race Driver Erica Enders encourages teens to stay focused on achieving their personal goals while safely navigating the road ahead. A simulator demonstrates dangers of distracted driving.
- On the Web: In partnership with Discovery Education, www.toyotateendriver.com is a comprehensive website designed to help teens avoid distractions, and offers tools, resources and competitions for educators, teens and parents.