New Series of Documentary Shorts from Toyota TeenDrive365 Explores the Emotional Rite of Passage When a Teen Receives Their Driver’s License

Read More

Award-winning Getty Images Reportage Photojournalists Capture Three Families’ Journeys;
Stories Underscore Important Role Parents Play in Teen Driving Safety

NEW YORK (April 22, 2015) – Excitement. Fear. Loss of Control. Pride. Every parent of a teenager can relate to the rollercoaster of emotions that occurs when their child receives their driver’s license.

In a new series of documentary shorts, Toyota has partnered with three award-winning Getty Images Reportage photojournalists to explore this major rite of passage through the experiences of three families in Los Angeles, Boston and St. Petersburg, Fla. The series is part of TeenDrive365, Toyota’s comprehensive teen safety initiative that helps parents and teens become safer drivers together. You can watch the videos at

“As the mother of two teenagers, I understand first-hand the range of emotions that parents can experience when their teen receives their driver’s license,” said Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Marketing Director for Toyota. “Even though the families featured in Toyota’s TeenDrive365 series all have unique stories to share, the common thread is that each parent is deeply involved in their teen’s journey to get their license.”

In the video shorts, a teenager’s new driver’s license represents different things for each family:

  • In Boston, the Rabinowitz family’s story highlights the excitement – and the tension – that can accompany this rite of passage. Teenager Erez is eager to get his license, while his parents are more reflective, hoping that he will not text and drive as they both do. This milestone is especially complicated for Erez’s father, who survived a life-altering car crash as a child that badly injured his parents.
  • In St. Petersburg, Fla., teenager De’Qonton’s new license represents freedom, achievement and the opportunity to broaden his life experiences. His parents share a mixture of pride and measured caution, while his younger brother has a new reason to aspire to be more like him.
  • In Los Angeles, the Vaught family’s story poignantly explores the ways in which teenage daughter Chloe’s new license helps her parents begin to view her as an adult, such as when she drives her mother to her grandmother’s funeral.

The shorts were created by award-winning Getty Images Reportage photojournalists Sara Lewkowicz, (St. Petersburg,) Ben Lowy (Los Angeles) and Shaul Schwarz (Boston).

The new series builds on TeenDrive365’s other resources, which include online tools, expert advice, local events and social media that help parents model safer driving behaviors for their children. The focus on parents as role models is based on research from a national study from Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The study found a significant correlation between how parents and their teens drive, suggesting that parents are the biggest influence on how a teen will behave behind the wheel.

Since Toyota TeenDrive365’s launch in November 2013, millions of people have engaged with its online and in-person resources. Earlier this year, the program introduced a new distracted driving simulator that uses Oculus Rift, the latest virtual reality technology, to bring the dangers of distracted driving to life for parents and teens.

The new campaign was developed in partnership with digital agency 360i and Getty Images Reportage. This collaboration marks the first time Getty Images Reportage has partnered with a brand to produce a series of short form multimedia documentaries.

To learn more about the resources offered through Toyota TeenDrive365, go to

About Toyota
Toyota, the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. For more information about Toyota, visit

Zoé Zeigler
[email protected]


Email Sign Up

Enter your email address below to sign up for email alerts.

*Indicates Required