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 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.

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/