2012 Teens Drive Smart Video Contest Wants You to Win $50,000 in College Scholarships

Teens Drive Smart Video Contest

Bridgestone recently opened up submissions for their 2012 Teens Drive Smart Video Contest. This contest gives students the chance to showcase their creative movie making skills, while trying to grab part of $50,000 in college scholarships Bridgestone is giving away.

The Teens Drive Smart Video Contest is looking for short automotive safety-themed videos, which encourages drivers to make good decisions behind the wheel. A good example for a theme would be “Don't text while driving.” (Something I am sure you don't do… right?)

Students who are between the ages 16-21 years old are eligible to enter. If you want to submit a video to be judged by Bridgestone the deadline is June 22nd, 2012.

After receiving the video submissions Bridgestone will have a panel of judges determine the Top 10 videos. These Top 10 will then be posted on Youtube, so the public can vote on on their favorites.  The three videos that receive the most votes will win the coveted scholarships; The Grand Prize winner will receive $25,000; second place receives $15,000 and third place receives $10,000. Not too bad if you ask me!

The scholarships are not the only prize in the competition. The Grand Prize winner will have their video air on the MTV Jumbotron in Times Square in New York City during August. Just try to imagine the awesomeness of your video up on a Jumbotron!

Also, the Top 10 Finalists of the contest will have the chance to have their video used as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations across the United States.  In addition they will receive a new set of four Bridgestone or Firestone branded tires.

If you are interested in submitting a video, keep in mind your submission should make viewers be more more safety-conscious when using their vehicles. In addition the video should effectively and creatively communicate the message you are trying to get across.  Last year's winner Amber Cullen won with her video, “The Phone Bandit.”  You can also view last prior's winners via Teens Drive Smart website to get a better idea of what you should do for your video.

Each year the videos get more creative, fun, and interesting. I assume this year's contest won't be any different.

I am not eligible for this contest, but if I were I would try to use something crazy and fun.  Like my talented singing dogs! (We even made an appearance on Anderson with Anderson Cooper at Lincoln Center! :))

Anyway, try to remember it’s not just about getting a scholarship for college but helping make people more aware of dangerous driving habits. Your video can potentially create safer drivers on our roads.

For more info and to submit a video visit: http://www.teensdrivesmart.com

Driving Skills for Life, Working to Save Young Lives

What's the number one killer of teenagers?  You might be surprised to hear it's not drugs, guns, or alcohol.  It's vehicle fatalities.  One car manufacturer that is making an effort to combat this problem is Ford with it's Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program.  With DSFL, Ford aims to educate new drivers about safe driving principles.  “We want to get the numbers down” says Jim Graham, Manager of DSFL.

DSFL events, which are held around the country, have overwhelming demand.  The events put teenagers behind the wheel with a professional race car driver to learn emergency maneuvers and how to handle dangerous road conditions and situations.  The hands-on instruction teaches the four key principles of DSFL: hazard recognition, speed management, space management, and vehicle handling.  You would think that teenagers would be excited at the opportunity to get into a car with a race car driver.  To some people, like a particular writer, it would be awesome to do this.  “At first they don't want to go.”  says Graham but, “Once they get into the car they want to do it again. We use young teachers that are considered cool and that the kids respond well too.”  Not only do teenagers love DSFL but parents have positive experiences as well.  “Parents get in the cars with teens.  For the most part they have not had professional driving safety training either.  They learn a lot as well.  Parents love the program.”

The program has saved lives in Illinois.  Outside Peoria 15 teenagers died in 1 year period.  DSFL went in to help address this issue.  They worked with the state and community and thus far there have been no new fatalities in the county.  They are now operating in the whole state and now there is a 50% reduction of teenage vehicle fatalities in the state of Illinois.  Great work!

DSFL also has help from celebrities to get the word out.  Kate Voegele, a musician and singer, talks with teenagers about safe driving habits through DSFL programs.  Colin Braun, a NASCAR driver, and Toby Keith, a country musician, have also contributed.  Braun spreads the message at tracks and through his social media network.  Keith made a Public Service Announcement (PSA) “No text message is worth your life” for DSFL.  The newest celebrity addition to the DSFL arsenal is Courtney Force, drag racing champion, and daughter of legendary drag racer John Force.  Courtney will be speaking with teenagers about safe driving habits around the country.

Ford not only aims to have DSFL events to teach teenagers and parents about driving, but to bring updated information right to you with their website.  “Learning to drive successfully is a life long learning experience.”  says Graham.  This is reflected in the vast content on the website which includes a safe driving simulator, educational materials, tips, videos, etc.  There are even downloadable school programs for teachers.  It's an all around resource for updated information regarding safe driving and how to develop better habits.

Driving Skills for Life is fully funded by Ford Motor Company.  The company even developed the program and will continue with it for a long time to come, as the number of newly licensed drivers grows every year.  In short, DSFL is a great service to the community that is saving lives.

Safety Scholars announces Winners!

Amber Cullen, 2011 Safety Scholars Grand Prize Winner

Three lucky people have won scholarships in Bridgestone's Safety Scholars video contest. Amber Cullen of Akron, Ohio, won the $10,000 grand prize for her video, “The Phone Bandit.” Two other people were also fortunate enough to win 5,000 scholarships, Robert Mai of Newport Beach, CA won second place and Everett, WA native Matthew Robertson won third place.

The three winners were chosen out of 1,466 entries from 16-21 year-olds across the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) to become one of the 10 finalists. The top three finalist's won the most votes out of nearly 10,000 votes that were cast on Safety Scholars website to determine the winners. The other 7 finalist's are not empty-handed though. For their efforts they will be receiving a free set of Bridgestone brand tires, including the top three.

“Each year it's amazing to see how the quality of videos has progressed. This year we were especially pleased with what we got. They were really great messages that really resonated with teenagers,” said Angela Patterson Sikes, digital media coordinator, Community and Corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas, who also manages the company's teen driver safety initiatives.

The three winners have the chance to have their video broadcast as a public service announcement (PSA) on TV stations across the US. Bridgestone supports these in cooperation with Driver's Edge, an independent, non-profit hands-on safe driving course that's offered free of charge to teens in select U.S. cities. The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 27,000 times on TV and cable stations across the US. The 2011 PSA's will be aired on many more regional and national networks. Making this year's winners especially fortunate. The PSA's from this year's contest will be in distribution by Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to all the winners and the effort by all the participants.  I look forward to seeing just as amazing and creative videos next year.

To view the winning videos visit: http://www.safetyscholars.com/

Safety Scholars voting ends Today!

The Safety Scholars video contest voting ends today.  If you have not voted for you favorite video yet, please make sure to do so.  Remember you are not just voting for lucky students who will receive a $10,000 and $5,000 college scholarships, you are eligible to win a prize just for voting.

Part of the goal of Safety Scholars is to create messages on driving safety that are, “Coming from another teenager to another teenager.”  says Angela Patterson, digital media coordinator, for Bridgestone Americas.  I would say this is exactly what the participants in Safety Scholars have accomplished.  The videos are creative, thought provoking, and extremely well executed.  It was hard for me to choose my favorite among the videos.  Watch the videos and please try your best.

To vote visit:  http://www.safetyscholarsvideo.com/?/finalists#

Safety Scholars video contest, Voting has begun

The top ten finalists have been chosen in Bridgestone's Safety Scholars video contest.  That means you can now vote for your favorite video on driving and vehicle safety.

The videos have been posted on safetyscholars.com. The student whose video receives the most votes will win a $10,000 college scholarship.  The second and third place winners receive $5,000 college scholarships.  The top ten finalists will also receive a free set of Bridgestone tires for their car.

When you vote for your favorite video you are also eligible to receive a prize.  The prizes are a variety of Bridgestone products.  Voting ends July 29, so make sure to vote.  The grand prize winner and runner-ups will be announced August 1.

There were 1,466 entries submitted by 16- to 21-year-olds across the United States and Canada, up from last year's 1,373 entries.  Judges picked the finalists based on how well the videos made viewers think about being more safety-conscious drivers and how effectively and creatively they were able to convey their message.

“The passion and creativity displayed in these videos is so incredible that it makes the judges’ decisions very difficult.  Safety Scholars once again proves to be an innovative campaign that empowers young drivers and allows us to demonstrate our commitment to safety behind the wheel.”  said Angela Patterson, digital media coordinator, Community and Corporate Relations, for Bridgestone Americas, who also manages the company’s teen driver safety initiatives.

Even more rewarding than the scholarships, the grand prize winners videos might be used as a public service announcement (PSA) on TV stations all across the country.  Bridgestone supports these in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a non-profit hands-on safe driving course that’s available free to 15-to 21-year-olds in US cities during the Summer.  The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 24,000 times on TV and cable stations across the United States.

The videos are all extremely well-done and very creative.  I have my own personal favorites, but I won't reveal which ones they are.  I will let you decide.

To vote please visit:  http://www.safetyscholarsvideo.com/?/finalists#

As well as receiving the scholarships the finalists will also get a free set of Bridgestone tires for their car.  The grand prize winners have the chance to have their video used as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations all across the country.  Bridgestone supports these in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a separate non-profit hands-on safe driving course that’s available free to 15-to 21-year-olds in US cities during the Summer. The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 24,000 times on TV and cable stations across the United States.