The Safety Scholars Program, sponsored by Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT), was launched in Austin, Texas, last week in conjunction with National Tire Safety Week.
BFNAT said it is working with retired race driver Mario Andretti to develop a “comprehensive program to educate young drivers on tire and driver safety,” and is using the Safety Scholars Program to gain “insights and ideas to help shape the curriculum and find creative ways to get the message to new drivers.”
“Car accidents are the leading killer of teens in this country,” said Andretti. “Teens are just learning to drive and face many distractions, so they’re at a very high risk for accidents. We want to help teens learn good, safe habits from the very beginning. Our hope is our Safety Scholars program will help us find the best way to get all teens to hear this important message.”
BFNAT launched “M.A.R.I.O.S. (Mario Andretti’s Real Information On Safety)” earlier this year to reach young drivers on key driving safety issues.
To participate in the Safety Scholars program, students aged 16 to 21 must compose an essay, 500 words or less, on automobile safety-related topics they feel are important to their peers, such as seat belt use, drinking and driving or tire safety. The submission should discuss effective ways to improve driver safety and should also include ideas on the best and most effective way to communicate to and educate young drivers about the safety messages discussed in the essay.
Essays will be accepted through July 31, with finalists being named in the fall of 2006. Complete contest rules are available at www.SafetyScholars.com.