Bridgestone Launches New Website for Teen Drivers

Bridgestone has a new website for teen drivers, Teensdrivesmart.com. The focus is to educate by providing a comprehensive resource for young drivers. Resources are provided in the form of useful information, fun video games, informative videos, and a blog. However the site is not just for teenagers as there are great resources for parents and teachers as well.

Sometimes it can be hard for parents to think of the right things to say to the newly minted drivers in the family. The website helps with tips and advice. They have driving contracts for parents and teens. Fill these out and discuss the rules and limits when using the family vehicles. This is something a certain writer would definitely approve of… of course not when he was learning to drive.

The site has another great feature – teaching tools. Most schools don't offer driver ed's. But teachers and students do still talk about driving, and the site offers driving-focused lesson plans that teachers can use in high school and even middle school. The lessons can be easily integrated into instruction for many different subjects. If you are a teacher, check it out. Consider how to teach your students safe driving habits. Talking about driving should be a priority. This can save lives.

“With the website we provide all the information to make smart decisions. There are more distractions than ever,” says Angela Patterson Sikes, who manages teen driver safety initiatives for Bridgestone. Texting; cell phones; music: other teens – are all potential co-pilots with teen drivers, and all can be lethal. Sikes, who also writes for the site's “Driver's Seat Blog,” says the site offers tips on how teens (and adults) can handle those distractions.

“Teenagers are new drivers which is a great opportunity to learn good habits.” says Sikes. “We think safety is everyone's responsibility. We try to involve parents and teachers to get out the message.”

The blog, which encourages reader comments and an open forum, gives out this information in a conversational manner. Four young women are the primary contributors who connect to teens on their level, without talking down to them. “We want to put a face on the lessons we are trying to teach,” Sikes says.

The website is gaining traction. Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, recently contributed with video messages chatting about the site.

If you sign-up to receive the newsletter you could win a $100 gas card. Check back for more information, contests, and great advice on teen driving.

Safety Scholars Video Contest, Win Money for College

If you like making movies and need some cash for college, you are in luck.  Bridgestone is running their annual Safety Scholars Video Contest.  Essentially you make a short movie about motoring safety and upload i, then you might win a $10,000 college scholarship!

You might be curious, why would Bridestone have this contest?  Angela Patterson Sikes who coordinates digital media and teen driver safety initiatives for Bridgestone, “Bridgestone started the contest in 2006 as part of its teen driver safety initiatives.  Safety Scholars originally began as an essay contest, but in 2007, Bridgestone decided to turn it into a video contest because they thought video would be the most effective form for teens to communicate that message and might reach more people that way.  Sadly, car crashes kill more 16 to 21 year olds than any other cause, so Bridgestone hopes this is a strong, creative way for teens and young adults to consider what they do behind the wheel.”

If you want to submit a video to be judged the deadline is June 24th, 2011.  Videos must be either 25 or 55 seconds long.  Not between 25 and 55 seconds, but one of the two.  The contest is open to 15-21 year olds, within the US and Canada.  The videos must be well thought out and executed.  Angela Patterson Sikes, “Bridgestone chooses the finalists based on the following criteria: how well the video compels viewers to be more safety-conscious when using their vehicles and how well the video effectively and creatively communicates its message.”  Last year there were 1,373 entries, and this year's number will hopefully top that.  Each year the videos get better and better.  There should be no exception for this year.

Even if you are not quite lucky enough to win the Grand Prize, the second and third place finalists will receive a $5,000 scholarship.  The top ten videos will get a Free set of Bridgestone or Firestone tires.  So get working on a video to submit.  Remember, it's not just about getting money for school but helping create safer drivers on our roads.

For more info or to upload a video visit: http://www.safetyscholars.com/