Today's driver is faced with a variety of natural distractions during any stint behind the wheel. These can include anything from someone in the backseat talking to them, an object off the road or eating while driving. But use of a cell phone—and specifically text messaging—is one distraction that is completely avoidable.
The Project Yellow Light initiative is designed to make the younger generation more aware when they're behind the wheel and to offer other educational benefits along the way. Adults can tell new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, but if those same words are echoed by friends or peers, it can make a bigger impact.
As a graduate from University of California Riverside with a degree in Mechanical Engineer, I understand the challenges of funding a college education. The Project Yellow Light scholarship is a way to not only bring attention to distracted driving, but to also provide a new way to pay for college.
If pursuing college is not right for you at this time, the scholarship will also award an opportunity to attend the survival driving school with Skip Barber Racing Schools. I am an alumni and National Champion of their national race series and occasionally return to help teach classes. The experience there is incredible, with accomplished, professional drivers teaching the students. And of course, to teach students to drive with care and focus.
When driving my Mazda 6 SKYACTIV-D GX race car, 110% focus is required, even though the race track is far safer than most of our highways. Think about the kind of focus that is needed with all the different drivers and obstacles that are on our roads.
I wear the Project Yellow Light logo proudly on the sleeve of my race suit to further the program's reach and get other young drivers involved.
Joel Miller is a former Skip Barber National Champion and currently races the #00 Mazda6 in the Grand-Am GX class. Joel co-drove the car to a win two weeks ago at Road Atlanta. .
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