The California Automobile Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Every year the Museum grows, there’s a significant need for funding to help enhance exhibits using new technologies, make educational classes more challenging and fun, and improve our World-class display of over 150 cars.
A big part of our mission and vision here at the California Automobile Museum is to reach out to our younger generations to inspire future racers, auto engineers, designers, restoration professionals, and repair technicians, which is the crux of our Education Program. However, cars are a part of everyone’s lives, whether they pursue a vocation in that or not. So this year, we have chosen a project that has the capacity to impact EVERY PERSON who comes through the Museum: a Distracted Driving Simulator.
Despite the laws, the majority of teen drivers admit to texting while driving. This is now the leading cause of death among teenagers.
Dialing and talking make a car crash up to 3 times more likely, while text messaging makes a crash up to 23 times more likely. Texting while driving is by far the most dangerous! This is compounded with teenage driving skills which are new and not well-honed; their reaction times are slower than experienced drivers. On AVERAGE, teens take their eyes off the road for almost 5 seconds while texting!
Texting while driving causes 11 teen deaths every day, and is responsible for 25% of all car accidents. We talk a lot about drinking and driving; precautions are taken by assigning a designated driver and we consider those who drink and drive as social pariahs. However, did you know that texting while driving is about 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated? This is approximately the same as a teen driving after 4 beers, yet it’s often trivialized or easily forgiven.
We are an establishment that seeks to make positive change in our community through teaching our younger generations the history and workings of the automobile. This is another way we can teach automotive history—the history of dangerous behaviors while driving, and how we can help put a stop to this hazardous habit. If this simulator changes even one teen’s behavior, it’s worth the investment. Plus, the impact will be far greater than one teen. We have about 10,000 students visit the Museum every year that we have an opportunity to impact, and I believe this will attract even more teens when we can offer this learning experience to schools and youth groups.
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This simulator will be incorporated into a larger museum exhibit on driver safety—from seatbelts and safety glass to air bags and distracted driving laws—because safety innovations have truly saved millions of lives. The powerful first-hand experience of the simulator will help the Museum save lives, as well. Driving infractions are scored, but users will also face the legal, physical, and psychological costs associated with impaired and distracted driving. This provides a reference for future decision making and has been proven to ultimately modify driving behaviors.
It is with this that I humbly ask your support of our efforts to enhance our museum’s educational value by donating to help install a distracted driving simulator. Your donation will help educate tens of thousands of visitors and students annually and help save lives.
All the Museum staff
P.S. If you would rather download the PDF document and send in your donation, click here. Donations may be made by cash, check or credit card, in honor or memory of a friend or loved one, as a payroll deduction or matching employer gift, or as a gift for that friend or relative who has everything!
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