The Drive: Teens get a (how not to) crash course in auto safety

  • Article by: Tim Harlow , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 20, 2013 - 5:35 AM

On a recent Sunday, Sita Dandiker was driving quite fast when, in an instant, she went off the road and onto the gravel shoulder. Seconds later, back on the road, the teenager’s vehicle hydroplaned and spun on a water-slickened road, then screeched to a halt after dodging obstacles and skidding across dry pavement.

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Oglethorpe2Aug. 18, 13 5:49 PM

I was at the Bridgestone event today with my daughter. The kids got to drive BMW's on a controlled track with professional drivers, learning how to handle a car under adverse conditions. They were also exposed to just how bad they drive while distracted (texting) and the essential task of how to check the oil and tire pressure. None of these skills are required by the DMV to get a license. Why not?

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ednaturnbladAug. 18, 13 7:40 PM

Oglethorpe2, in a perfect world, those skills would be taught at the DMV. But to answer your question, why not? Some may say cost, but bigger than that is LIABILITY. Prob same reason school buses don't have seat belts.

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comment229Aug. 19, 13 4:03 AM

Oh, I have no doubt driving skills in this country have gone backwards. Years ago, "defensive driving" was the norm and taught in our schools, for free. Now we have commercials warning you what to do with "aggressive drivers."

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comment229Aug. 19, 13 4:08 AM

On my evening commute last night, I was on a three lane highway, in the middle lane, with almost no traffic in the immediate area, when a teenage girl pulled up close enough to my rear bumper for me to see that she was playing with her hair. I waited for her to go around me, left lane, or right lane, but she tailgated me and seemed content. So I slowed down slowly until I got to 45 mph in a 60 mph zone. It took that long for her to realize the speed and go around me. Tailgating has got to be the biggest problem we have today. Just my opinion.

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hahatsktskAug. 19, 13 8:18 AM

Just because your child turns 16 does not mean they are ready to drive. Parents should use some judgement. Mine weren't ready so I did not allow them drive.

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bluemocoAug. 19, 13 9:04 AM

I agree with you, oglethorpe. This is great driver training, and I plan to have my kids take this course in a couple years. However, I think the main obstacle is the cost of the training. Most kids (or their parents) aren't going to want to fork over the nominal cost of $150 for this type of training, regardless of how valuable the driving instruction may be.

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