LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Nearly 43,000 people died in car crashes last year, nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.
The non-profit, Driver’s Edge is steering young drivers in the right direction.
The program puts people under the age of 21 in emergency situations, in a controlled environment. It is a free, half-day program for those with a license or permit to learn the do’s and don’ts behind the wheel. The curriculum covers rules, seatbelts, and distractions, and to expect the unexpected.
“We get young drivers behind the wheel and they get to experience what really happens when a vehicle loses traction when it goes into a skid, what ABS brakes do, what you need to do to avoid an obstacle in front of you,” Jeff Payne, founder and CEO of Driver’s Edge said.
The CDC reported eight teens die every day in a car crash, and hundreds more are injured. New drivers are more likely to crash.
“If everyone can remember to be aware, expect the unexpected, and not freak out when it happens, most collisions will be eliminated overnight,” Payne said.
About 800 teens will go through the program this weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Amy Ellsworth has wanted her daughters Abby and Anna to participate for years.
“I am so excited my kids can learn these skills to make them safer on the roads and be safe from other drivers,” Amy said.
The sisters went for a spin and described the experience as fun to learn how to do the maneuver correctly.
“It was surprising,” Anna said. “I think we underestimate how dangerous the roads can be, so it is important to learn the basic safety rules.”
Professional driving instructor, Andrew Shoen explained when the car loses traction, don’t press either gas or brakes. Remember to look and steer where you want to go.
The exercises proved how easy it was to be in a dangerous situation, but taught students tools to save their lives and others.
The waitlist is already 1,200 families for this weekend, but they’ve added another event. Dec. 1 – 3. It is free, however, donations are appreciated. For more information click HERE.