SILVER SPRING, Md., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota and Discovery Education today announced that the Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge and Toyota Teen Driver Educators' Challenge are now open for entries. These challenges invite teens and their teachers to share their most creative ideas to help promote teen safe driving habits. Entries for both programs are due by Feb. 14, 2013.
Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for teens. In fact, current research shows that 35% of all teen deaths are a result of car crashes -- more than cancer, suicide, heart disease and homicide combined. To address this challenge, Toyota and Discovery Education teamed up in 2010 to create Toyota Teen Driver, a comprehensive program and online destination providing safe-driving tools and resources to educators, students and parents.
Safe Driving Programs for Both Teens and Teachers
The Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge encourages students to create and develop an original video describing what they can do in their communities to help make their peers and themselves safer drivers. The top ten videos will be chosen by a panel of experts for their originality and compelling content, followed by a public voting period on ToyotaTeenDriver.com to select the winner. The first, second and third place winners will receive $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 cash prizes, respectively. In addition, Discovery Channel film crews will visit the top three students' hometowns to hear their stories and capture their visions for safer driving for pieces that will air on ToyotaTeenDriver.com and additional Discovery online properties. The seven runners-up will each receive $1,000. The Video Challenge is open to students in grades 9-12.
Recognizing that educators also play a key role in ensuring teens stay safe on the road, Toyota and Discovery Education have also opened applications for the 2013 Toyota Teen Driver Educators' Challenge. For this Challenge, educators are asked to create innovative action plans for keeping students safe on the roads. The grand prize winner will receive a 4 day trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a safe-driving conference and a $10,000 cash prize. In addition, that teacher's school will be awarded a Virtual Driver Interactive simulator and a safe-driving assembly, led by Toyota Teen Driver experts. The second place winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a driving simulator and safe-driving assembly for their school.
"At Toyota, we are deeply committed to the notion that everyone deserves to be safe," said Patricia Salas Pineda, Toyota's group vice president of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation. "We are glad to be working with Discovery Education to bring critical safety information to schools and students across the country. This is an important commitment for Toyota and a vital part of our efforts to help ensure that drivers and passengers are safe at every phase of life."
In addition to Toyota Teen Driver, Toyota's work to help keep teens safe on the road includes: Toyota Driving Expectations, a free program for teens and their parents which provides hands-on, real world defensive driving experiences; groundbreaking safety research partnerships with major North American research universities through the company's $50 million Collaborative Safety Research Center; and national teen safe driving partnerships with DoSomething.org and the National Safety Council. Toyota also has a national program in place to help ensure safety for child passengers (Buckle Up for Life) as well as a major partnership with AARP to address driver safety for seniors. For more information on some of these programs, please visit http://www.toyotainaction.com/safety.
"Discovery Education is thrilled to continue our partnership with Toyota to provide teachers, students and their families with creative and engaging resources to keep teens safe behind the wheel," said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president. "The Educators' Challenge and Video Challenge, as well as the resources available on ToyotaTeenDriver.com, provide a unique opportunity for teachers and students to connect on and explore issues that transcend into their everyday lives."
For more information about Toyota Teen Driver and the challenges, visit http://toyotateendriver.com.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 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 $600 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.
About Discovery Education Discovery Education transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and captivates students by providing high quality, dynamic, digital content for grades K-12 and community colleges. 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 media, professional development, assessment tools and a passionate educator network to support districts in accelerating student achievement. Discovery Education services like Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Techbook and Discovery Education Higher Ed, are in more than half of all US schools and 35 countries around the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.