Emergency Maneuvers Driving Course a Good Option for Teen Drivers
January 30, 2007
Teen drivers must pass a driver’s education course and behind the wheel training before they get their license. However, what prepares them for emergency situations once they begin driving on their own? This would be one of those times when learning by experience is not the best or safest idea. Unfortunately, chances are unless you and your teen live in an area with adverse weather, they will not get a chance to practice emergency situations until it is too late.
Now there are many new driver prep course options for parents and teen drivers who wish to be fully prepared when behind the wheel. Many cities are offering emergency maneuvers driving courses, usually at a fairly reasonable cost, that teach teens how to handle emergencies while on the road. Among the types of lessons learned, teen drivers will learn things such as how to steer out of a skid and avoiding overcorrecting when swerving to miss something or someone in the road.
It is hard to prepare teen drivers for emergencies, as experience really is the greatest teacher. Fortunately now parents can enroll their teens in these new programs for greater confidence on the road. A few such programs are the Street Survival and Driver’s Edge programs. Street Survival is sponsored by the BMW Car Club of America Foundation, and is staffed with automobile lovers and high-performance driving instructors. Because the teachers are volunteer, the courses are offered at an affordable rate ($60 for parent and teen, including breakfast and lunch).
Driver’s Edge is sponsored by Bridgestone, which is offered in a dozen cities for free. More and more these types of programs are becoming available. Though they are voluntary and not required for a teen to be licensed, parents will find the costs are worth the added confidence their teen drivers will have while driving.
While some insurance companies are offering discounts to safe drivers and those with a higher grade point average, most do not yet offer a discount for completion of an emergency maneuvers driver education course. There is still a misconception that the added confidence will add to more risky driving by the teens behind the wheel. Only time and statistics will tell if these programs are effective against the onslaught of teenage driving deaths. Until then, I recommend all concerned parents have their teens enroll in such a program, or at the very least teach their child the basics themselves.