Smart Driving from the Start© is a funded presentation under The Clean Transportation Path© project intended for Driver Education classes, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes.
(The Clean Transportation Path project also offers The Clean Transportation Path funded presentations intended for high school STEM education classes.)
Our goal in Smart Driving from the Start webinar presentations is for students to take with them information that will make them SMARTER and SAFER drivers.
Among our smart driving tips, ACCELERATE AND BRAKING SMOOTHLY and WATCH YOUR SPEED especially show students the benefits of efficient driving that can save them more than $200 annually in fuel use, maintenance, and repair costs while making them safer drivers - a WIN-WIN!
THE PROBLEM: Most of us are not aware of it, but here's a few inefficient, highly impactful driving scenarios played out millions of times daily!:
• continuing to accelerate after a traffic light ahead turns red, ending in a hard stop, hoping to be the first in line, only to have a car the next lane over gently coasting to a stop but not stopping because the light has turned green
• speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic
• sitting in a mall parking lot, idling continuously with the engine on, browsing on a smartphone
• driving a gas guzzling, polluting vehicle (even with such vehicles, employing our smart driving tips will improve fuel economy and lessen tailpipe toxins)
HOW A DIFFERENCE CAN BE MADE: With our Smart Driving from the Start presentations, student drivers are primarily shown the benefits of smart driving practices. Also shown is an introduction of low- to zero-emission vehicles, the future of road transportation. Plus, a brief segment on alternatives to driving.
• saving money in fuel use, maintenance, and repair costs
• how being a smart driver equates to being a safer driver
• plus, the reduction of CO2 emissions, energy waste, and pollution
For the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years, Green Driving America (GDA) is offering Smart Driving from the Start (SDFTS) presentations under The Clean Transportation Path project. These approximately 45-minute PowerPoint and video guest-speaking webinar presentations are intended for driver education classes (having a required set number of hours of live classroom instruction1) and for career and technical education (CTE) classes. Currently, they are at no cost in funded areas including all of Vermont and the Upper Valley of New Hampshire, thanks to GDA grant awards from the Climate Catalysts Innovation Fund of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and an anonymous foundation in the Upper Valley of VT and NH.
Most SDFTS presentations are conducted virtually2 (such as with Zoom) by one of our trained college level interns3; these interns are volunteers who are paid a stipend. Occasionally, GDA executive director Wayne Michaud conducts presentations4. For driver educators on school staff, optionally, students can be utilized from their host school, who would be comfortable in public speaking, to give in-person presentations. They would be trained by the educator and/or virtually by the GDA executive director (with the educator present). Host school student presenters would be in a voluntary, unpaid role.
A two-page PDF handout supplementing presentation content is included: customized for each state; Vermont shown.
Engagement: intern presenters asks the audience several questions during the slide show; if additional time, a Q and A / discussion session follows (interns are provided knowledge of transportation efficiency and electrification beyond presentation content)
An optional, on-the-spot Quick Quiz is given to students if an extra five minutes is available. The quiz has nine, mostly multiple choice questions to help reinforce what they were shown. Answers are revealed in a following slide.
The PowerPoint is customized for each state, for example showing a state's particular anti-idling laws, EV charging station locations, and available EV incentives/rebates/credits.
NOTE: Wayne Michaud is an ADTSEA Professional Individual Member
1Why not California (GDA base location)? Many states currently require this type of driver education instruction. However in some states, including California, the classroom driver education instruction portion is mostly limited to a student self-taught online training program; this is currently not conducive to our presentations
2Some states may limit guest-speaking in driver education classrooms to be in-person only
3Intern information provided to educators upon arranging for presentations
4Wayne is present at start of all presentations to assure interns are ready to present
Green Driving America Inc. evolved from an organization that specialized in conducting educational projects in the school community. Most of this work was in Vermont. The organization, then called Idle-Free VT, was awarded grants to implement these projects starting in 2013. They were split into two efforts:
1. measured idle-free schools campaigns at 16 schools from 2014 to 2023 (12 in Vermont; four in California)
2. the work we are continuing to go forward with: an updated version of green driving guest-lecturing presentations that were given in more than 120 Vermont drivers education and science/math educator classes from 2013-2016.
Educators having a potential interest in incorporating our funded classroom sessions into their curricula, please contact Wayne Michaud
email: firstname.lastname@example.org • phone/text: 916-209-0224
FOR INTERESTED EDUCATORS: Below is a YouTube video of images (advancing in 12 seconds each), not narrated, from the full animated Smart Driving from the Start PowerPoint slide presentation shown in the classroom; the presenter provides elaboration on the slides. NOTE: this is the PowerPoint for Vermont; it is customized for each state.
Also shown are YouTube videos of the two videos included in the presentation.
NOTE: The Smart Driving from the Start© presentation is copyrighted and the property of Green Driving America Inc. It may not be used or recorded without permission. The other videos below are open source and may be freely used.
(customized for each state; Vermont shown)
FUEL REDUCTION & MONEY SAVINGS FIGURES: The Driving More Efficiently page of fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. source for fuel economy information, shows the average fuel reduction percentages and amounts of money saved by practicing smart driving with gasoline vehicles (does not include EV benefits). Driving sensibly and observing speed limits clearly yield the biggest results.
WHAT WILL THE DIFFERENCE BE?: Our educational sessions will make a difference as a percentage of students will grasp and apply the compelling information shown. They (and by extension, some of the adults around them) will learn to be more efficient and environmentally responsible drivers as well as being shown the path to cleaner vehicles. As the existing fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles continue to predominate for the next 15 years or more, the Driving More Efficiently figures at fueleconomy.gov show that each of these smart drivers will avoid the consumption of many hundreds to thousands of gallons of fuel, which will also result in significant reductions of CO2 emissions and energy savings.
HOW SMART DRIVERS ARE SAFER DRIVERS: In the practice of smooth acceleration and braking, smart drivers avoid jackrabbit starts and tailgating. And this helps them to be more mindful of the flow of traffic around and ahead of them. This is the art of defensive driving: anticipating hazards to allow for more reaction time to perform evasive maneuvers. And of course it is also safer to comply with speed limits.
The Smart Driving from the Start logo, title, presentation, and materials are copyright © 2024 and may not be used without permission by Green Driving America.