Mazda Motor Sports Teams Up With Project Yellow Light

Partnership intended to raise awareness and reduce accidents caused by distracted driving.

With the prevalence of technology in the information age, drivers are finding it easier to get distracted behind the wheel. Cell phones and texting are two of the main culprits behind the rise in accidents in recent years. In an effort to help raise awareness about this disturbing trend, Mazda Motor Sports has announced a partnership with Project Yellow Light, an organization that works to educate teens about the importance of remaining focused behind the wheel.

Back in 2009, the NHTSA reported that there were 5,474 people killed in car accidents as a result of distracted driving, with 448,000 injuries as well. These numbers have not improved either, which means more action is needed to help curb this behavior, especially in young drivers.

The goal of Project Yellow Light is to educate teens about the dangers of driving distracted and to encourage them to spread the word about the dangers. Co-founder Julie Garner asserts that "Teens will listen to their friends more readily than they will listen to an authoritative figure talking down to them."

Each year, Project Yellow Light offers a scholarship challenge to teens that asks them to create their own public service announcements. The top entries are awarded with scholarships.

Mazda does more than just help fund the program however; with the exposure and clout of such a popular brand, Mazda hopes to spread the message of Project Yellow Light even further. Mazda has come up with some unique ways to help reach out to young drivers. A young racer for Mazda named Zach Veach created an Android phone application that is capable of automatically responding to text messages when driving. Since most teens are driving cars that don't have handsfree systems found in many modern vehicles, this simple app could have a major impact.

While accidents attributed to distracted driving are on the rise, there are steps that can be taken to help reduce their prevalence. With efforts like the one by Mazda and Project Yellow Light, education and awareness can be spread and help decrease the number of accidents on the road.

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