Teaching teens driving survival
MasterDrive of Summit CountyAn informational session about MasterDrive will be held May 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Summit High School. The two-day class is offered four times after that, May 19, 20, June 9, 10, Aug. 18,19 and Sept. 15, 16. All will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the SHS parking lot.Anyone interested in attending the information session or one of the classes, should call Summit Prevention Alliance at 668-2077. Also, by attending the information session, students can register to win a free class. Teens will need use of a family vehicle, but don’t need a permit and can be 14 years or older. The cost is $390 and scholarships are available.Resources for parents• Daystar Driving, (970) 445-8227, 36 hour (30 hours classroom, 6-behind the wheel) driver’s education class available in Summit County by Matt Eilers. The upcoming classes are June 3, July 1 and Aug. 5.• Donna Rushing, Summit Prevention Alliance office manager, (970) 668-2077.• Driver’s handbook available at http://www.revenue.state.co.us/mv_dir/home.asp.• Teen driving information at http://www.coteendriver.com.FARMER’S KORNER – Stress and anxiety may not be strong enough words to describe what parents experience as their teen takes to the road for the first time.So, an option that could help ease the white-knuckled situation has returned. MasterDrive of Summit County teaches teens 14 and older defensive driving techniques and skills for getting out of tough situations. Donna Rushing, Summit Prevention Alliance office manager who has participated in the course said, “What I learned was invaluable.”Crash avoidance, how to correct a vehicle without overcorrecting, proper braking, how to get around a object the falls into the road in front of the vehicle and how to get out a skid are a few of the skills, she said.To teach teen drivers these safety techniques that come in handy, particularly in the mountains, cones, a skid pad and other drills are set up. The students practice “drill after drill after drill” in the Summit High School parking lot for 16 hours over two days, Rushing said.The idea is “if you’ve pulled yourself out of a situation, you have the memory to do it again,” she added.And while this class doesn’t count toward driver’s education, it does count as six hours of off-road driving – a portion of the total 50 driver training hours parents agree to log.”To get your child’s permit is not an easy task these days because they don’t provide driver’s ed in the schools,” said Rushing who often hears from confused parents trying to figure out what their teen needs.MasterDrive is not one of the requirements, she continued. And the class is not inexpensive.However, getting your child on the mountain is not inexpensive either, added Tom Rose, executive director of Summit Prevention Alliance. “Parents give kids all the tools they need to ski and snowboard. … It’s the same with driving for them to get all the skills they need to reduce accidents,” he said.Also, for those who need it, scholarships for the $390 class are available.The MasterDrive program first came to Summit County about five years ago after multiple teens were involved in single vehicle crashes – something the program should help them avoid, said Mark Stolberg, general manager of MasterDrive. “The piece we’ve really designed is to get them to defend themselves,” he said, adding that from the testimonials the company receives they’ve done just that.Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at email@example.com.
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