Programs help teen drivers gain confidenceWritten by Mary Petrides | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing causes as many teen deaths as car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
KeyBank is sponsoring Key to Safe Driving, a free, one-day program for teens to improve their driving skills. Teens can participate in the program July 21 at Sylvania Southview High School or July 22 at Perrysburg High School.
Professional driving instructors from the Mid-Ohio School will teach teens driving skills, including emergency lane changes and wet-pavement stops. Teens will also have an opportunity to drive a skid car, which simulates driving on snow or ice.
“I was probably one of those drivers that was really cocky and thought I was the best driver,” said Robby Hamlin, 20, who participated in the program last year. “[The program] scares the heck out of you, and you learn that it’s something you can handle.”
“It puts kids in the situation that normal driver’s ed doesn’t do,” said Dan Davis, public relations manager for KeyBank.
Davis said his son’s driving skills were improved when he participated in a similar program in Lexington, Ohio. KeyBank sponsored a condensed version of Mid-Ohio’s driving school in Columbus last year.
Because it went well, KeyBank decided to expand the program this year, taking it to eight schools near four cities — Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Indianapolis.
Hamlin said he would recommend the program to anyone.
“You have a lot more confidence in your driving and a greater understanding of the true ability of the car,” Hamlin said.
The program is free and open to any teen driver with a license or permit, Davis said.
To register, visit the program’s website at www.keytosafeteendriving.com, and for more information, call (877) 793-8667.
American Family Insurance program
People with American Family Insurance and first-year teen drivers can sign up for free a teen driving program through the insurance company.
Those who participate in the program will have a video camera installed in the car, which saves video and audio recordings 30 seconds before and after risky driving behaviors, like sudden stops or sharp swerves. Parents can access their teen’s report cards and coaching tips online.
The program does not include any classroom time.
“The idea is the parents and the teen sit down and talk about it,” said Janet Masters, strategic communications specialist at American Family Insurance.
In the first 18 weeks, there’s a 70 percent decrease in risky driving behavior, Masters said.