Car crashes are the leading killer of American teens from ages 15- to 20-years-old, with more than 5,000 teens involved in a fatal crash each year and an additional 196,000 injured. Simple driving errors, avoidable but common among inexperienced teens, cause the majority of fatal accidents. Tire Rack Street Survival is a 501c3 organization and is the largest active non-profit national driver education program that teaches teens the skills they need to stay alive behind the wheel. Unlike traditional driver's education programs based on classroom theory and simple maneuvers, the Tire Rack Street Survival program improves driver competence through hands-on experiences in real-world driving situations.
Students will receive a short classroom session and then will learn, hands-on, how to manage everyday driving hazards, obstacles and challenges in a controlled environment on an advanced driving course to ultimately arrive alive. Students learn emergency braking and skid control, how to control proper braking, and how to avoid accidents entirely. In select schools, in addition to spending time in the driver's seat of a parked 18-wheeler to fully comprehend its massive blind spots, teenagers witness the violent detonation of an air bag, which reinforces proper hand placement on the steering wheel.
Students are taught in their own cars, not specially prepared program vehicles, so the skills they learn can be directly translated to their daily driving experiences. Tire Rack Street Survival challenges teenagers to understand how to control a vehicle, rather than just operate one. Tire Rack Street Survival is open to licensed and permitted drivers ages 15- to 21-years-old. Forms, schedules and more information can be found online at www.streetsurvival.org.
The cost is $75 per student and some insurance companies offer premium discounts to graduates.
The program in entering its 12th year having trained 12,000 new drivers. One hundred and one schools were completed last year and the goal for 2014 is over 110 nationally.
For the 5th year, Michelin North America is supporting the Street Survival program by providing funding for pavement rental for each school throughout the United States. That is no small task, given that this year the Tire Rack Street Survival schools plan to offer its training to teens all across the U.S.