Toyota Fights Distracted Driving With Teen Video Contest

distracted driving teen video

What do a car and a Beluga whale have in common? More than you think, according to two high school students who just won first place in a Toyota video contest.

The automaker recently held its fifth TeenDrive365 challenge in coordination with the Discovery Communications’ Education initiative. The goal was to have teens create PSAs that discourage distracted driving and urge teens to drive safely. 

Maryland high school students Matthew Post and John Caporaletti took home first place. Their big idea was to compare driving a car to taking a Beluga whale out for a spin. After all, both weigh over 2 tons and need a lot of room to safely maneuver. Their video “For the Whales came in first place from a record 1,500 submissions.

“We were delighted by Matthew and John’s unexpected take on the huge responsibility of driving a vehicle,” said Mike Goss, General Manager, Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America. “Their video is clever and funny and best of all, it works. It really makes you stop and think about why it’s so important – as they put it – to drive smart. We’re excited to help them share this message with teens everywhere.”

The budding filmmakers are sophomores at Sherwood High School in Olney, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. They won $15,000 and the chance to work with a Discovery film team to remake their video into a TV PSA that will air on Discovery networks.

The second place winners, Samuel Brown and Lillian Smith, hail from Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City. Their video “Scary Movie” compares distracted driving to a horror movie. They won $10,000 for their clip.

Third place winners Blake Rozas and Jackson Ingraham are students at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. Their video compares the importance of distraction free driving to the importance of distraction free brain surgeons in “Brain Surgery.” They take home $7,500.

The People’s Choice award goes to Blake Takushi and Tyler Mora from Kempner High School in Austin, Texas. They won $5,000 and a trip to see the recording of a Velocity network show.

The other top 10 finalists took home $2,500.  You can check out all of the finalist videos here

To learn more and join the cause check out

Photo Credit: Toyota
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