Skip Barber Racing School instructor Bob Green addressed the New England Driver and Traffic Safety Association [NEDTSA] recently to reinforce the notion that current driver education curricula doesn't go far enough. Green's two lectures over the...
Skip Barber Racing School instructor Bob Green addressed the New England Driver and Traffic Safety Association [NEDTSA] recently to reinforce the notion that current driver education curricula doesn't go far enough. Green's two lectures over the weekend were standing-room-only. Scores of people attended the presentation in Portland, Maine in what has become an expanded effort to reduce the number of unskilled or unsafe drivers on our roads.
Along with a vehicle dynamics presentation, Green offered an overview of the "Crashing is a Bummer" program and addressed teaching points in presenting the course to others. "Crashing is a Bummer" is a pilot program designed to introduce teens to a wide range of clinically important areas, such as braking, skids, vehicle dynamics, proper driving posture, and perhaps most important, "delusions of adequacy," thinking you are a better driver than you really are. The nascent program is licensed by the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School, the single largest driving school in the world.
Green takes a soft, but effective, approach to his seminars. "We want to motivate people to be safer drivers, rather than to scare them into it," said Green.
The Skip Barber instructor contends that driving is one of the third most time-consuming activities and that many [or most] of our drivers are ill-equipped to deal with the challenges on today's roads. He cited some attention-commanding statistics to support his case. Every year, there are over 6-million reported crashes on our nation's roads resulting in 43,000 deaths. Even sadder, of that total, 6,300 are teenagers.
Green cites that the American Driver Traffic Safety Education Association [ADTSEA] has been working to improve driver's education but does not ably address complicated situations that often lead to crashes, such as car control and accident avoidance.
"When we teach driver's education [in a conventional way] we don't have enough "fire drills," said Green. "We teach drivers that if they follow the law nothing bad will happen to them. We don't teach the skills necessary to be a good driver. Driving exams test your knowledge of the rules but not your ability to drive a car."
During a Q&A portion of the seminar, an attendee asked Green if the powerful Dodge Viper was a dangerous car, to which Green responded, "Drivers crash cars, car's don't crash themselves. Drivers make decisions when they drive all the time. The point is to make the right decision and, if a bad decision is made, to have the skills required to deal with it."