Toyota Driving Expectations Program to Hit Chicago

By: Anthony Fontanelle

In the past, the most rampant cause of traffic accidents is drunk driving but through years of awareness campaign, the number of drunk driving related accidents have gone down. Recently though, it seems that another serious threat to traffic safety is teen driving.

While there are responsible teen drivers, statistics shows that 14 percent of accidents resulting in death involved teenagers. In Chicago alone, more than ten teenagers have died this year as a result of traffic accidents. To address this threat, the auto industry and its players have been taking steps towards educating teens and parents alike on safe driving issues.

The Toyota Motor Corporation recently announced that they will be bringing their Toyota Driving Expectations program to the state of Illinois. The said program aims to educate teens and parents to help reduce the number of fatal accidents involving teens. The program will be held at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois from April 20 through 22.

The company known for their upward surge in the U.S. auto scene is using the Toyota Driving Expectations to teach teen drivers about defensive driving techniques. The program will be for free and interested participants would just need to register online by visiting the official website for this program which could be accessed through www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com.

Paul Holdridge, the Vice President and the General Manager of Toyota's Chicago Region, have this to say about their program: "Toyota is committed to providing teens with the tools they need to be better prepared on the road and to become better drivers. Since its inception in 2004, more than 4,000 teens and parents have successfully completed the Toyota Driving Expectations program, which was developed after several pilots and valuable feedback from teens, parents and the National Safety Council."

The program is a unique one since Toyota will be educating participants based on real-world situations. The program's goal is for the teens and parents to understand the relationship between distraction and reaction in a real-world situation. Participants will be made to navigate a driving course while doing other things like drinking water or talking ion the phone. For teens, listening to loud music will be a part of the driving program.

These activities are seen as possible distractions to drivers which can seriously affect the driving response of a driver in cases of emergency. Activities such as those mentioned put the driver and the passengers at risk and even if a car is equipped with , it will be useless when the driver fails to react properly.

The Toyota Driving Expectations is also unique in the sense that teen participants need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The participants will then be split into the parent group and the teen group. While the teens take to the driving course, parents will be educated about vehicle safety technology, defensive driving, and what to expect from teen drivers. The program will be concluded via a safe driving contract that the parents and teens will hopefully fulfill.

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