Automaker Toyota believes that the first year a teenager gets their driver’s license will be one of the most dangerous of their lives and while cars today are safer than ever, automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.
Today, Toyota launched TeenDrive365, a driving safety platform to help families navigate the critical first year of a teen’s independent driving.
According to Toyota, the initiative aims to help foster an ongoing dialogue between parents and teens through engaging online tools, expert advice and tips, local events and social media.
One of TeenDrive365’s goals is to inspire parents to model safer driving behaviors for their teens. This premise of bringing parents and teens together to encourage safe driving is based on scientific research from a national study Toyota conducted with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
The study found a significant correlation between how parents and their teens drive, suggesting that parents are the biggest influence on how a teen will behave behind the wheel.
The study was sponsored by Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) ), which works with leading institutions on auto safety research, including projects designed to better understand teen drivers’ risks and behaviors and identify effective recommendations to help keep them safe.
“We like to say that driver’s education begins the day a parent turns their child’s car seat around to face forward,” said Dr. Tina Sayer, Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center principal engineer and teen safe driving expert.
“It’s so important that parents understand that the actions they take and the expectations they set for young drivers each day are powerful factors in encouraging a lifetime of safe behavior behind the wheel.”
TeenDrive365 features a collection of resources and tools, which can be accessed online at www.TeenDrive365.com