U-Haul recently participated in the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) Teen Safe Driving Summit in Alexandria, Va to promote safe trailering and safe driving habits. The basis for this summit is for high school students to learn about safe driving and bring back what they learned and put on an event similar to the summit in their community promoting safe driving. The students began checking in on Saturday afternoon and were ready for some #trafficsafeyouth fun with a little #uhaulfamous thrown in during their scavenger hunt along King St later that night.
Sunday morning started with a series of presentations designed to help the students during an interactive lab later in the day. Shannon Papa represented U-Haul and administered a pre-test to the students (and peer mentors/adults) on safe trailering. After the students were done, Shannon went through the answers and every couple answers you’d hear groans confirming that the majority of people in the room needed some more knowledge on loading a trailer – all of which would come shortly. Shannon soon went into her presentation on safe trailering –which included lessons on loading a trailer using the 60/40 rule, using compensatory attitude, backing up and general knowledge of the towing system.
U-Haul has long been a proponent of driving distraction free – it was a natural fit for U-Haul to attend the summit and teach the students about safe trailering. As part of the summit, the students had an interactive lab on Sunday afternoon with most of the sponsors participating. The activities ranged from driving golf carts with goggles that simulated driving under the influence, to a brand new 18 wheeler semi allowing the students to enter the cab and truly understand the semi’s blind spots.
With help from local U-Haul (818 MCO) team members, the Safe Trailering Rodeo events were staged and ready for the students. With 5 trailer stations, the summit delegates had the opportunity to test their newly acquired trailer knowledge. Not only did they get to see how straight they could back up a trailer, but they also hooked up a trailer and loaded a trailer properly. The students were timed and scored for points that worked into their overall score for the summit. The overall impression was that the students were interested and really engaged with the activities at the U-Haul station.
On Monday, the students flowed into the conference room for a full day of speakers and visits to the sponsors tables where they would pick up literature and swag to take back to their communities to put on their own summit. Later in the day, U-Haul was part of a “Sharing the Road” panel discussion. Shannon Papa’s main message for the panel was sharing the road is caring about the other people on the road, in other words, “sharing is caring.” As well as reminding the students of the need to adjust their driving techniques while towing, she went through some examples of trailers that did not have their load secured properly, with images of the dire consequences. These images provided real-world examples to the students of what it means and what the outcomes can be when someone doesn’t care enough to secure their load on their trailer.
The summit concluded at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for a tour of their facilities where students learned about what the NTSB does and how crashes are deconstructed and understood to make traveling safer. The students also heard from several speakers in the transportation industry and how they got to be in the industry. Each speaker came from very different backgrounds. Tom Prefling, Director of Internal Communications, represented U-Haul and shared his early writing dreams which obviously lead to a communication career at U-Haul.
To help the students in their cause to promote safe driving and trailering, U-Haul will provide students equipment or a local location if they choose to put on a safe trailering rodeo in their own city.
What would you tell a high school student about safe driving habits? Share with us in the comments below.