Driving survival school wants teens to survive

Parent Shawn Cowan from King George County, VA., watches his 16-year-old son Chase learn basic street survival driving tactics (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON — Your teenager gets a learner’s permit, but that’s just the beginning. Studies show that most fatal accidents involving teenage drivers are caused by simple driving mistakes which are avoidable.

That’s where a new teen driving program comes in.

The Tire Rack Street Survival teen driving school is a driving class for teens that basically teaches the things left out of other drivers education courses.

“It’s survival. It is teaching them the basics on car control,” says Chuck Grafton, one of the driving instructors.

This is real hands-on instruction in the teenager’s own car so they know how the car will react, and they know how to handle, a skid or emergency braking, the instructors say. Drivers learn how to control the vehicle and not just operate it.

“It’s how to survive when things come at you that you haven’t been taught about, how to avoid accidents, how to gain control of a car that goes into a skid,” says Grafton. “And avoid things that are in the highway.”

Parent Shawn Cowan traveled from King George County for his son to take the class, which costs $75. “Hopefully it’ll make them safer drivers,” Cowan tells WTOP.

The course is open to permitted drivers from 15 to 21-years-old.

Everyone involved is a volunteer qualified driving instructor. Even the space where the course is held is donated. On Saturday, the class was held at the Adesa Car Auctions in Dulles. For more information about Tire Rack Street Survival go to http://streetsurvival.org/.

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