Pitt Meadows, British Columbia – The B.C.-based Driving Unlimited Academy has announced a new program that trains teenagers as young as 15 to survive on the road, not just to pass the driving test.
Statistics show that car crashes are the number-one cause of death among teenagers in B.C., with over 50 from ages 16 to 20 killed each year in the province, and thousands more injured. Drivers in the novice stage of the Graduated Licensing Program are 45 per cent more likely to be involved in a crash than experienced drivers, and drivers age 16 to 19 across Canada have a fatality rate that is four times as high as those aged 25 to 34, and nine times as high as those age 45 to 54.
The Driving Unlimited Academy uses an approach that separates the vehicle operations skills from road rules, starting with classroom sessions and then on a closed-course training area, so that drivers learn vital skills and become familiar with vehicle dynamics in a low-pressure environment.
“Most of us learned to drive on a vacant parking lot or on some back road, but that just isn’t possible anymore,” said Danny Kok, president of Driving Unlimited. “With the current volume of traffic and the lack of areas for new drivers to practice, kids enter driving schools with less experience. Most schools, then, focus mainly on teaching rheir students to pass the test, regardless of their skill set. We teach new drivers valuable driving skills and car control skills long before we go out on the road to learn the rules and etiquette of the road.”
The school teaches techniques such as proper seating position, mirror adjustment, steering techniques, and emergency and non-emergency braking. As well, each student undergoes a collision avoidance course near the end of the driving course.