Part of the mission of Modern Driver Institute is to create and implement new and original media elements which promote ideas about traffic safety and defensive driving to the general public.
Modern Driver’s founder, Michael Mercadante, holds degrees in History and Psychology. He studied communications, moving image arts and graphic design as an undergraduate. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in multimedia development, including writing, photography, graphic design, website management and video production. He also has 15 years of professional experience in traffic safety, including research and education. As an artist, Michael brings creativity to small budget projects. As a teacher, he brings a thorough understanding of what works with audiences.
Some of his past projects include:
- Michael served as webmaster for The Philadelphia Zoo, America’s First Zoo. During his tenure, the website surpassed 1 million annual visitors for the first time, utilized video content to engage audiences and won Encyclopedia Britannica’s Web’s Best Sites award.
- Michael served as Adjunct Professor of Multimedia Design at the King of Prussia campus for ITT Technical Institute, where he taught classes in web design, Flash animation and motion graphics for video.
- Michael provided script revisions, audio narration, photography and video production for the STARTT program, a CD-ROM based novice driver education course for Safe Drive Technologies. He developed dozens of short demonstration videos during work on the project (see some of them here).
- Michael provided content writing, photography and illustrations for the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual for PennDOT in 2006. More than a decade later, some of his work remains in the current version of this book.
- Michael provided video production to a research project sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) looking at tractor-trailer safety.
- Michael provided script revisions, casting, voice-over recording and video production to a project called “Roadwise Review” sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and designed as a home self-assessment tool for seniors concerned about their safe driving ability.
- Michael provided script revisions, voice-over narration and Flash animation to an online course for novice drivers entitled “Killer Curves”, designed to teach teens about the dangers of curves.
- Michael co-developed an on-board, autonomous video recording unit for use in a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study about driving distractions. He also wrote and illustrated the User’s Manual for this new equipment.
- Michael won a 1996 Telly Award for a documentary he produced about a high school girls’ soccer team and their race to the state championship.
- Michael has directed and edited three theatrically-released short films which premiered at film festivals.
- Michael has had his written work published by magazines, websites and newspapers over the years.