In a 3-day training class, teenagers are getting a mix of drivers ed and defensive driving. Hosted by Street’s Defensive Driving, the class first began 10 years ago to keep young people safe on the roads.
“Right now we lose just over 4,000 young drivers a year to automobile accidents, which we feel is a totally unacceptable number. So what we did was we took like 50 accidents where young drivers had lost their lives, and we dissected those accidents and said at what point and what could a young driver have done differently that would have changed the outcome that would have made that fatality a survivable crash,” Street said.
More than 20 students ages 15 to 18 signed up for the nonprofit’s first driving class of the summer. Many say they are excited to get their license and can’t wait to be behind the wheel.
“It’s a lot easier to drive without having to ask your parents to go out to eat or with your friends.”
“I’ve been waiting to get my licenses for a year now. I’ve always been a safe driver but this just helped me a little bit more.”
The class includes classroom instruction and vehicle training in cars provided by the Meridian police department and the Bo Haraala Autocomplex.
Teenagers learn not only the rules of the road, but how to stay alive in emergency situations.
“They’re going to be taught the proper responses so when that deer runs out in front of them, or that 18-wheeler blows a tire out in front of them on the roadway, instead of overcorrecting and doing a maneuver that might cost them their life, they’re going to know exactly how to respond to an emergency situation. They’re going to know how to control the weight of the vehicle so that they can have better control of the vehicle,” Street added.
Students are also informed about the dangers drinking and driving, texting and driving, and not wearing a seat belt.