Teens Learn Life Saving Driving Skills - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Teens Learn Life Saving Driving Skills

Updated: Oct 7, 2012 10:08 PM CDT
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For teenagers, getting a driver's license is a moment they dream about. However, it can also be dangerous and in some cases even deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports car accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. Teens and more than 80 percent of accidents are caused by driver error.

However, some in our area are working to change that, with a "Survival Skills" driving program. The program teaches accident avoidance, skid control, emergency braking and more on both wet and dry courses. The training has been used in other areas, but this is the first time it's been done in the Quad Cities.

Sunday 21 kids came out to the training, learning simple maneuvers that will help them stay in control of their car in emergency situations. For example, if they hit a patch of ice or need to swerve to avoid an accident.

"There's a lot of things going on, phone calls, texting, people jumping out, animals jumping out, or kids chasing a ball across the street," said Organizer Chuck Gipson.

 "Doing some of these things today, they have maneuvers quickly in a split second decision, telling you turn right,turn left. They have to do it quickly and the worst thing you can do today is smash some cones instead of people," he said.

Gipson, along with several car clubs, and even a few race car drivers, spent the past several months organizing the event. He, along with more than 20 other instructors took kids through a classroom lesson and ride along, before letting them get behind the wheel and test their skills. Teens went through a figure eight course, practicing hard turns, as well as another course where they had to weave in and out of cones.

Teens who took part said while the training was fun, they realize it means so much more than that.

"I feel like I'm a more secure driver now. I will be able to handle it better," Teen Driver Anna Kay said.

Organizers said the training was such a success, they plan to hold another "Street Survival" course in the future.