Clinic challenges teens to become better drivers

Bridgestone’s Teens Drive Smart Tour, a free clinic where teenagers (up to age 21) are behind the wheel of brand new BMWs with professional motorsports drivers as coaches, to learn about vehicle dynamics and proper decision-making in panic situations, comes to the National Sports Center in Blaine Aug. 17 and 18. teen driverThere are four half-day sessions to choose from, starting at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. The clinic is free and open to ages 15-21 with a valid driving permit or license.

Although the clinic is free, advance registration is needed at www.TeensDriveSmartTour.com.

The clinic is designed as a hands-on training session to teach young people the skills needed to better handle accident avoidance situations, make good split-second decisions and eliminate distracted driving behaviors.

Each session combines classroom instruction with putting students behind the wheel for several hands-on driving exercises – including a skid pad – to reinforce smart decision-making and transfer that knowledge to the open road.

The clinic demonstrates vehicle dynamics and the best ways to respond in less-than-ideal driving situations; all within a fun and interactive environment.

The program’s curriculum for teenagers is designed to define and identify distracted driving behaviors; identify the dangerous situations caused by distracted driving; develop a base understanding of driving principles; show the importance of keeping your eyes on the road; understand reaction times in emergency braking situations and how to control a vehicle on slippery surfaces; and accident avoidance and vehicle dynamics.

Parents are invited to watch and hear what their children are being taught. They can also learn an awareness of their own behind-the-wheel behavior and how it impacts their teens’ driving patterns; how to model proper driving habits; and the importance of clarifying and enforcing the rules of responsible driving with teens.

“New statistics (nationally) show that after years of declining rates of teen deaths due to car crashes, they’re again on the rise, so having this type of training is still crucial,” said Angela Patterson, Bridgestone’s teen driver safety coordinator.

“This program helps our newest drivers see the true impact distracted driving can have, and shows them how to make the best decisions while behind the wheel and avoid deadly collisions.

“Bridgestone remains committed to educating our newest drivers on how to stay safe on the road, and this new experience offers valuable information to help them do that.”

More detailed information and free registration can be found at www.teensdrivesmarttour.com

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