MRO Magazine

Teens Steer the Conversation to Promote Safe Driving

By Business Wire News   


Today’s teens are digital natives who, on average, send over 100 texts1 and watch 1.15 hours of online videos a day.2 That’s why Toyota TeenDrive365 is launching two defensive driving campaigns that harness teens’ love of texting and online videos:

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

  • The Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challengewith Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms; and
  • The Toyota Driving Coach with, one of the largest orgs for young people and social change in the world.

Video Challenge Invites Teens to Produce Distracted Driving PSAs

Now in its fifth year, the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge invites high school students across the country to create short videos to inspire their friends to drive safely and avoid distractions.

A panel of judges comprised of community leaders, educators, communications experts, and Toyota representatives will select the grand prize winner, who will receive $15,000 and work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot their video as a TV-ready PSA. The second place winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to attend a taping of a show airing on Discovery Communications’ Velocity Network, while the third place winner will receive $7,500.

One People’s Choice winner will also be selected through public vote in April and will win $5,000 and will also attend the Velocity show taping. This year, Toyota has expanded the prizing to include 4th through 10th place winners who will each receive $2,500, as well as four regional winners, who will each receive $1,000. Last year, teens across the country submitted more than 1,000 videos.

Teens can register and submit their entries today through March 7, 2016 at

You can watch the videos from last year’s winners and finalists at this link.

“We know that teens rank their own peers as one of the leading influencers on their behavioral choices. With that in mind, Discovery Education is proud to partner with Toyota on this unique initiative that empowers teens to use their digital storytelling skills to inspire their peers,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President at Discovery Education. “To keep teens safe on the road, it’s critical that we reach them in the classroom – where they spend the majority of their time – by providing needed digital resources that emphasize the importance of making smart choices behind the wheel.”

Texting Campaign Brings Teens and Parents Together to Take on Distracted Driving

The Toyota Driving Coach, developed in partnership with, turns the tables on the parent-child relationship by empowering teens to help mom and dad become safer drivers. DoSomething members will receive a text message with common distracted driving behaviors that they may observe their parents doing, such as eating behind the wheel, fiddling with the car’s controls, or typing on a mobile device. The teen can address the issue with their mom, dad or guardian by selecting from several intervention tactics, including taking on the tasks themselves or sharing compelling statistics, often lightened with pop-culture references and all via text – though not while driving, of course!

The campaign’s focus on bringing teens and parents together around this issue is based on Toyota research with the University of Michigan that found that parents are the number one influence on how their teen will drive. The campaign will run from October 1-31, 2015.

“At, we exist to give young people accessible ways to take action on issues they care about, like distracted driving,” said Naomi Hirabayashi, Chief Marketing Officer at “It can be awkward to know what to say to your parents if they need some help with distracted driving (c’mon, Mom!), so we’re breaking down those barriers by providing humorous intervention tactics all through the preferred medium for young people, text messaging.”

Participating teens will be entered for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship. To learn more and sign up, go to this microsite or text DRIVE to 38383.

“We are thrilled to partner with Discovery Education and on these Toyota TeenDrive365 campaigns because both organizations really understand what makes young people tick,” said Marjorie Schussel, Director, Integrated Brand Communications, Toyota. “We believe that by meeting teens where they are, we can raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in powerful ways and help teens and their parents become safer drivers.”

The Video Challenge and Driving Coach campaigns are part of Toyota TeenDrive365 – the company’s comprehensive safety initiative that offers online tools, expert advice, local events and social media elements to inspire parents and teens to be safe drivers together.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at

About makes the world suck less. One of the largest global orgs for young people and social change, our 4 million members tackle campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to the environment to literally everything else. Any cause, anytime, anywhere. *mic drop

1 Pew Research Center, 2012
2 Global Web Index, 2015

on behalf of Toyota
Amy Gross, 646-805-2037
Discovery Education
Elizabeth Hillman, 240-662-2664
Naomi Hirabayashi, 212-254-2390 x 240


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