Using powerful videos and interactive technology, MADD Canada and Aviva Canada are delivering the dynamic SmartWheels program to Ontario elementary students.
Impaired driving takes a disproportionate toll among young Canadians: MADD Canada’s statistics reports1 indicate traffic collisions are the leading cause of death among 16-25 year olds with approximately 55% of fatal collisions involving alcohol and/or drugs. Further, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s 2019 Ontario Student Health and Drug Use Survey2 shows that the percentage of students using alcohol and cannabis increases steadily between grades 7 to 9.
SmartWheels is a 42-foot recreational vehicle that has been specially-outfitted with a large projection screen, individual tablets and virtual reality goggles to provide a fully interactive learning experience for students in Grades 4 -6. The program educates students about the risks of alcohol, drugs and driving – and provides them with safety strategies – long before they will need to make decisions about such things. It is currently being delivered to elementary schools throughout Ontario, including 23 presentations being directly sponsored by Aviva Canada.
“Young people are our future. We felt it was important to support this innovative education program that helps Canadian youth learn the risks of impaired driving and provides them with the tools to keep themselves safe on the roads,” said Catherine Brown, Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility, Aviva Canada.
“By engaging students at this young age, and gaining their attention with the unique and innovative features of SmartWheels, we are providing a memorable educational experience that helps prepare them to make safe choices,” said MADD Canada National President Jaymie-Lyne Hancock. “We welcome Aviva to the SmartWheels team and look forward to working with them to deliver this vital program to protect young people and make roads safer.”
As part of the pandemic-related response this year, SmartWheels is available in the traditional in-person format or via a new online platform for remote delivery. For in-person presentations aboard SmartWheels, strict sanitization and safety protocols are followed after each use.
SmartWheels is delivered by a specially-trained MADD Canada representative who guides the presentation and helps students through the process. All participating schools are provided with a comprehensive Educators’ Guide to facilitate pre and post presentation discussion about the material presented and the risks of alcohol and drug use.
Schools interested in booking for the presentation for their students can contact MADD Canada at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MADD Canada
MADD Canada is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit www.madd.ca.