Driver’s ed only gets a teen so far. Once they have their license in hand, there is no further instruction required to be a driver.
“That’s tragic,” says Danny Bullock, chief instructor at RRS. “When new drivers get their license is when some serious learning really needs to happen.”
Think about it: 4,000 pounds of steel, glass, moving parts, heat, and fuel in the hands of a person who has never driven on their own before – moving at high speeds, maneuvering in and out of the most dangerous traffic situations ever on today’s roads.
According to Bullock, Radford Racing School has given serious instruction to thousands of teens throughout the country through its Advanced Teen Driving course, for more than half a century. Today, with the recent statistics out from the National Highway Safety Transportation Association that show a record rise in dangerous, distracted driving, the school has seen more interest than ever in their teen training.
Teen driver safety impacts everyone – not just the drivers and their families, but all others on the road. Motorized vehicle deaths are the second-leading cause of fatalities of people between the ages of 15 and 20. Drivers aged 16 and 17 are in the most danger, given their lack of experience. Most fatal teen car crashes occur within six months after getting a license, based on teenage crash statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.
“Teen drivers have simply not yet encountered the situations we train them for,” said Bullock, whose team of pro instructors teach accident avoidance, vehicle handling, and defensive driving.
Driver injuries and fatalities began to rise two years ago, when roads were largely empty due to stay-at-home orders in many states. With less traffic, speeds increased as did reckless and impaired driving, leading to a record spike in deaths last year. Many people weren’t even wearing seat belts, the NHTSA reported.
Of the 43,000 killed on U.S. roads last year, the highest number were age 16. The 10.5% jump over 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since NHTSA began its fatality data collection system in 1975.
“It’s heartening to hear from our graduates that they used a skill in a dangerous situation and came out unharmed,” adds Bullock. “And even though this is a serious class that addresses a critical issue, I also get feedback from students about how much they enjoyed their time here at the school. Their enjoyment in the class is important because it helps students recall their experience here, which helps them remember the tips and techniques of safe driving when they need them.”
To sign up for the next Radford Advanced Teen Driving course, register here, or contact the school for more information.