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Teaching Teen Drivers Car Control

Where to find driving schools

Published: January 2014

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.  Teenagers are four times more likely to crash than a driver over age 20. Each day, about ten teenagers between 16- and 19-years old die from motor vehicle injuries. Those startling facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underscore the problem of teen driving. While there many well-established programs focusing on drunk driving and seatbelt use, there is too little discussion about teaching our least experienced drivers car control.

"Driving School" usually refers to a program that teaches young drivers the rules of the road and how to operate a car. There are also performance schools that can teach drivers how to get the most out of their cars and find the best line on a racetrack. But there is a third type of school that is becoming more and more prevalent - ones focused on teaching teenagers car control and how to avoid an accident.

We have seen first hand the benefits of teen defensive driving schools. In following several teens through a program and hosting our own at our test track, they all found the one-day clinic beneficial having improved their awareness, confidence, and capabilities.

If you have a teen driver, please consider sending them through such a program. It could be the best money you’ll ever spend. And in some cases, the classes are free.

For more on teen driving, see our special section.

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