Street Survival for Teens

By: Catherine Crane Email
By: Catherine Crane Email

According to Street Survival, car crashes are the leading cause of death among 13 to 19-year-olds. Street survival is a program aimed at reducing that number, by taking some of the 'unknowns' out of dangerous driving situations.

Driver’s Ed took an extreme turn for some teens in Lincoln. "Earlier today we had a wet skid pad set up with soapy water," said Chet Dawes, Driving Events Coordinator for the BMW Club. "So they could slide and experience that type of thing, but they'll either get these situations while they're in a panic situation on the street or in a controlled environment like this."

"I learned that steering is a lot more difficult in my car than I thought it would be," said Sarah Dean. "My tires cannot handle as much as I thought either."

Sarah and her cousin Alex Hulewicz handled the white knuckle street survival test.

"These are just situations that you aren't in very often," said Sarah. "So when you take those skills out into the real world it will help you a lot. In eight hours, you've done things that you've never done before, and I think it will help you in crucial situations."

"Out here you're not going to crash into anything because they're cones," said Alex. "So you can just push-it as hard as you can even if it spins out it's okay. That way you know what your car can and can't do.

It's a different kind of Driver’s Ed, put on by volunteers from the BMW Club of America and TireRack.com.

"You don't get these things in Driver’s Ed, you don't get these skills when you're teaching someone to drive on the street," said Dawes. "The rules of the road- that's where it stops in a conventional Driver’s Education. Here we're teaching them the things that they will undoubtedly experience on the street."

One of the exercises the kids practiced Sunday was going through the track with a cell phone in their hands, dangerous and hard to do. Dawes says discourages kids from picking up their phones on the road.


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