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Free Youth Leadership Program in Driver Education in Canada

By General Posts

Teens in Ontario can now apply for new Vision Zero Youth Network Program.

The Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN) by Teens Learn to Drive Inc. allows teens in Ontario ages 15-19 to gain experience and help make their communities safe.

ONTARIO, CANADA – Non-profit organization, Teens Learn to Drive Inc. (TL2D) is inviting media partners for the launch of its new leadership program for Ontario high school students called the Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN).

In Ontario’s worst case scenario, a 16-year old could:
• Pass the G1 written test after taking 10 to 12 practice tests online. (This test concentrates on sign recognition of the rules of the road, and both are largely forgotten afterwards.)
• Drive back and forth to the grocery store for a year while parents are unaware of what their child is doing on the road.
• Practise the route of a road test a few times before taking the actual assessment – (perhaps in a much less busy region than where they live).
NOTE: During this time, the parent cannot let them drive on 400-series highways.
• On their 17th birthday, pass the 17-minute road test.
• Then pile their friends into the car and head out on the 401 – North America’s busiest road – while driving at high speeds alongside other cars, trucks, motorcycles and emergency vehicles.

If that sounds far-fetched, 62% of new drivers in Ontario do not take formal driver education (2019, MTO data). Instead, they learn from friends and family members who may have bad habits or outdated information.

Vision Zero is an idea that was developed in Sweden during the late 1990s. It aims to eliminate deaths on roads by using systems and infrastructure to lessen the damage when drivers make mistakes. Sweden also strengthened their mandatory driver education system to create safer drivers at the outset, thereby reducing the volume of serious driver errors in the first place. Compared to Sweden, most Ontario drivers start with a serious education gap about winter driving, space management, blind zones, scanning skills and behaviours that affect driving.

The VZYN will help to fill in that gap of driver education by empowering young people to work with police and other partners to create and share road safety messages about topics that concern their region.

This volunteer position is free to Ontario high school students and includes numerous benefits. Selected Ambassadors will earn their 40 Community Service hours, a $500 scholarship, and an expense-paid trip to the VZYN conference in Toronto. In addition, they will also strengthen their skills, portfolios, resumes and networks.

DATE: Wednesday, May 19
Time: 1pm
Location: Via ZOOM
Hosted by: John Derringer of Q107

New Neurobiological Study Finds Riding a Motorcycle Can Decrease Stress and Improve Mental Focus

By General Posts

from http://www.healthnewsdigest.com

The results of a neurobiological study, today published in Brain Research, yielded pioneering scientific evidence revealing the potential mental and physical benefits of riding a motorcycle.

Researchers recorded participants’ brain activity and hormone levels before, during, and after motorcycling, driving a car, and resting. While riding a motorcycle, participants experienced increased sensory focus and resilience to distraction. Riding also produced an increase in adrenaline levels and heart rate, as well as a decrease in cortisol metrics – results often associated with light exercise and stress-reduction.

“Stress levels, especially among young adults, continue to rise, and people are exploring pathways to better their mental and physical health. Until recently, the technology to rigorously measure the impact of activities like motorcycling on the brain didn’t exist,” said Dr. Don Vaughn, the neuroscientist who led the research team. “The brain is an amazingly complex organ and it’s fascinating to rigorously investigate the physical and mental effects riders report.”

Results Highlights:

  • Riding a motorcycle decreased hormonal biomarkers of stress by 25%
  • Sensory focus was enhanced while riding a motorcycle versus driving a car, an effect also observed in experienced meditators vs non-meditators
  • Changes in study participants’ brain activity while riding suggested an increase in alertness similar to drinking a cup of coffee

“While scientists have long-studied the relationship of brain and hormone responses to attention and stress, doing so in real-life conditions such as these is rare,” explained Professor and senior team member, Dr. Mark Cohen. “No lab experiment can duplicate the feelings that a motorcyclist would have on the open road.”

“The differences in participants’ neurological and physiological responses between riding and other measured activities were quite pronounced,” continued Dr. Vaughn. “This could be significant for mitigating everyday stresses.”

Research Overview

The research team monitored participants’ electrical brain activity and heart rate, as well as levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. The Harley-Davidson funded study, entitled “The mental and physical effects of riding a motorcycle” measured the biological and physiological responses of more than 50 experienced motorcyclists, using mobile EEG technology.

Study Disclaimer

Study of healthy, experienced adults, riding their own motorcycles on a designated 22-minute route, under normal conditions. Provided for informational purposes only. Sponsor makes no guarantee that you will experience similar results; actual effects will vary based on equipment, driving conditions and age/health/experience of rider. See research summary here. Views expressed and conclusions reached are solely those of the author, Dr. Don Vaughn, in his personal capacity, and do not necessarily represent the views of UCLA. Sponsor: Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Riding a Harley-Davidson Can Help Fight PTSD, Veteran Group Ride Planned

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

In the first month of of 2019, Harley-Davidson released the results of a research that showed just how beneficial riding a motorcycle can be for the mental well-being of humans. As it seems, motorcycling is even good to treat more serious conditions.

Back in 2015, Harley started supporting the efforts of an organization called Wounded Warrior Project. The group provides services and programs for war veterans post-9/11, and among these programs there is an idea called Rolling Project Odyssey.

This Odyssey is centered around bringing together soldiers and help them heal their mental scars through adventure-based learning. And that includes riding Harleys in groups, just as a Harley should be ridden. This type activity has been found to be beneficial in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), among other things.

The Harley research we mentioned earlier, conducted by scientists at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, showed that riding a motorcycle for 20 minutes can increase the heart rate by 11 percent, reaching a level similar to that achieved while performing a light exercise.

That in turn increases alertness, and helps decrease hormonal stress biomarkers by 28 percent. The study’s findings were based on data taken from 50 experienced motorcyclists that were made to ride their own bikes on a 22-minute route.

“Rolling Project Odyssey was a life-changing experience for me,” said in a statement Jonathan Goolsby, an Army and Rolling Project Odyssey veteran.

“The experience has taught me many things that I have been able to implement into my daily life, like finding my center and keeping my cool when things start to get tough.”

This year’s Rolling Project Odyssey kicks off at the beginning of next week starting in Jacksonville, Florida, and going through Daytona, where the Bike Week marks the start of the riding season on the American continent.