Driver’s Ed: TeenDrive365 Road Show

by Dan Nied
Nov/Dec 2014
Driver’s Ed: TeenDrive365 Road Show
Simulated Sensations
Though driving simulator participants “crashed” more often than not, the distracted driving exercise is one of the most popular—and valuable—offerings of TeenDrive365

Participants at a New York Region TeenDrive365 got under the hood for a lesson on the car components they might not use in everyday driving.

New York Region dealers eagerly welcome TeenDrive365 Road Show to help new drivers and parents learn about staying safe on the road.

On a Saturday in September, Rick Roh saw the power of Toyota’s commitment to helping keep its customers safe.

Roh, the general manager at City World Toyota in Bronx, N.Y., welcomed 38 people into his dealership to participate in the first sessions of the New York Region’s TeenDrive365 Road Show, featuring the Teen Driver Safety Clinic.

“It’s wonderful because it really does enlighten the teens,” Roh says. “But it also helps the parents realize that they’ve been making some vital flaws in the way they were educating their children in how they were driving as well.”

The City World Toyota stop was just one of the 12 TeenDrive365 events conducted in September and October at select New York and New Jersey Toyota dealerships. The Road Show drew 565 [update total] participants.

TeenDrive365 features Toyota’s free teen driver safety clinic that teaches teens and their parents about vehicle dynamics and safety features, defensive driving, dangers of distracted driving and the importance of vehicle maintenance.

The clinic is geared toward pre-drivers and presents a classroom experience dealing with common dangers for new drivers. Attendees also participated in a vehicle scavenger hunt to familiarize themselves with vehicles beyond the radio and steering wheel.

Beyond the Basics
At City World, a participant named Louise attended a session with her 22-year-old daughter, Diana. Louise came to the dealership to buy a new Corolla. That meant her 2011 Corolla would go to Diana, who didn’t have much driving experience. When a sales associate suggested they check out the Teen Driver Safety Clinic, Louise and Diana jumped at the chance.

“Diana is an inexperienced driver, so this was very informative,” Louise says. “They gave us a lot of good pointers for her and me both, especially when they took us around the car and showed us under the hood.”

The biggest draw of the event is the driving simulator, which puts participants through a virtual obstacle course illustrating the dangers of distracted driving.

“The driving simulator was incredible,” Roh says. “Even for experienced drivers, they got to realize that distractions make a big difference.”

Louise made sure Diana experienced the simulator, even if the results were predictable.
“She crashed,” Louise says. “It looked like everyone did.”

In all, TeenDrive365 was a big hit with Louise. From the execution of the program to the information and learning techniques, not to mention the price (free, of course), Louise and Diana were impressed.

For Roh, the event was a great chance to show the Bronx that City World is about more than the bottom line.

“It’s important because it lets people in our community know we’re not just a profit center,” he says. “We also care about the community as well as our children. This is not just a superficial message to get into their pockets”.

And Toyota has proven time after time that it’s more than just a car company.

“We’ve always known that Toyota is massively committed to dealers and the community,” Roh says. “Anyone who owns multiple franchises treats their Toyota franchise as their crown jewel, and that has to do with the infrastructure of Toyota as a company.”

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