Educational Program Teaches Drivers About Wireless Safety Behind Wheel

Educational Program Teaches Drivers About Wireless Safety Behind Wheel

BEDMINSTER, N.J. - Verizon Wireless announced the availability of an educational curriculum that teaches new drivers about wireless safety behind the wheel, reinforcing the company's industry leadership position on the issue. The program, entitled vIQSM, or "vehicle Intelligence Quest," is an extension of Verizon Wireless' "Drive Responsibly. Call with Care." campaign. vIQSM encourages new drivers to consider their driving aptitude and educates them about the options for using wireless technologies in the vehicle.

vIQSM , designed to be part of the driver education curricula, is packaged with an instructive Educator's Guide and video, which takes the instructor step-by-step through the program and also suggests breakout activities to give instructors and their students an opportunity to think and talk about the issues of vehicle safety and wireless phone usage. Emmy® Award winning creative director, Peter Reynolds of FableVision Studios, scripted the animated vIQSM video and educational guide. Reynolds has 17 years' experience developing educational software.

"Our goal with vIQSM is to educate new drivers about making smart choices from the onset of their driving careers. The instructive approach we use centers on giving the audience options, which is based on the research we did with educators in the field who suggest that young adults are generally more responsive when given alternatives," said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. "The vIQSM program recognizes that sometimes the best choice may be to pull over to a safe spot off the road to make a call or that a driver may feel they need to wait until they reach their final destination before placing or answering a call."

The program presents three real-life scenarios incorporating challenges that drivers face daily. Students are then asked to choose the best option for them given the situation. Rather than present only one "correct" answer, the vIQSM video presents the option that was the most suitable given the driver and the circumstances: an emergency while driving; a driver who needs to make calls when traveling; teens trying to communicate with one another amid other distractions. The educational package is available complimentary to educators, schools, libraries and drivers education instructors throughout the United States.

As the U.S. wireless industry leader, Verizon Wireless puts its strength behind its "Drive Responsibly. Call with Care." program to extend the message to new drivers. Verizon Wireless is committed to educating the public on the responsible in-vehicle use of wireless phones. For those who choose to talk and drive, Verizon Wireless believes hands-free technologies can help improve attentiveness to driving and this program helps those drivers assess their aptitude to make the smartest decision for them.

Verizon Wireless sought the input from professionals with expertise in education and vehicle safety to participate in the content development of the program. Verizon Wireless would like to acknowledge the assistance of those individuals from the following organizations for their contributions: AAA of the Carolinas; California Department of Motor Vehicles; Dept. of Health and Safety, Indiana State University; Driving School Assoc. of the Americas; Driving School Assoc. of California; Governor's Highway Safety Bureau, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Massachusetts State Police; NYS Education Department; The Safe America Foundation; Traffic Safety Association of Michigan.

Verizon Wireless selected FableVision Studios to develop and create the video because of their extensive experience with creating educational curricula. FableVision Studios has created educational programming for a variety of broadcast, educational and corporate clients, including PBS and Scholastic.

To order a copy of the video and for more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/responsibledriving. To download vIQsm character and logo images, please visit http://news.verizonwireless.com/igallery.


About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.