Driver's ed program teaches students safe driving in Boardman - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Driver's ed program teaches students safe driving in Boardman

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

Statistics show that simple driving errors and distracted driving common among inexperienced teens, cause a majority of fatal accidents.

According to Tire Rack Street Survival, a nonprofit national driver education program, over 5,000 teens and young adults die in fatal accidents each year, with around 200,000 facing injuries. That's why this drivers training course goes beyond basic driving skills and helps train drivers for the unexpected.

During simulations in Boardman on Sunday, instructors tossed a cone in front of the driving students in just one of the exercises.

The cone represents a mattress that fell off the truck ahead on a three-lane highway and drivers had to decide whether to stop, or move into the right or left lane depending on whether those lanes were blocked to represent another car in that lane. Brad Morris, the course manager said, "Drivers must pay attention to what's around you, and what's in your mirrors. Is the left lane open when you're in the center lane? Is the right lane open? You just can't go swerving over into another lane. To simulate those scenarios we block off those other lanes, and we don't give them a lot of warning to it."

\Instructor John Gingery emphasized, "In our program, we encourage students to use their own cars, or the vehicles they will be driving. It's better if they drive their own car in our training program then they will know how that car is going to react to breaking, turning, lane changing, and skidding. They will know how that car is going to feel when they have to react to something on the road."

Natalie Fullerman from Chardon said, "I feel a lot more ready if someone were to cut me off, or for different unexpected dangers. Jackie Blanc from Brecksville added, "I've learned how the car will react in different situations just in case something happens."

Rack Street Survival is open to drivers who have a license or a permit between the ages of 15 and 21. For more information log on www.streetsurvival.org.

The cost is 95 dollars a student. Parents here say it's priceless if it saves their children's lives.

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