Insider Report: May we recommend driving school?

  • The image of cars on a parking

“Brake, Brake, BRAKE!
I don’t speak any languages other than English, but even I can guess that the shouting in this video translates to “Brake! Brake! BRAKE!” This practice session gone epically wrong shows a South Korean woman flipping her car no more than 10 seconds into her driving lesson. The dashboard camera captures her pulling out on an empty country road and immediately veering toward a grassy bank. Her passenger — perhaps an instructor, perhaps her father — frantically shouts at her to brake, while she continues to drive toward the bank at speed, hitting it and flipping over. The passenger then shouts “I told you to brake! What were you pressing?” The video was posted on YouTube on Monday and has already had almost 700,000 views.

Another Wrong pedal?

Driving lessons Duck Dynasty style x 2
Lately, my 12 & 14 year old Sons have been addicted to the reality TV show Duck Dynasty. I have to admit that I have watch bits and pieces of a couple of episodes and it is becoming a bit of a guilty pleasure. On Wednesday night, I happened across an episode called Driving Miss Sadie, in which one of the key guys in the show starts teaching his daughter how to drive. It becomes a classic example of Pop trying to teach his kid, when he really has no business doing it.

And then, his crazy Uncle decides to give Driver’s Ed a try and things get weird. Si’s three rules of driving:
1. Hands at 9 and 3 on the wheel. So far, so good.
2. Always be on the offensive. Never on the defensive. Road rage, here we come!
3. Always have ice and tea on hand. To keep refreshed. I guess that’s the Southern version of a cup of Timmies.

R&T Report: Overwhelmed and Undertrained
The videos above are certainly entertaining to watch, but they clearly illustrate a problem that affects us all, no matter where we live. Driver training is lacking everywhere, but in North America it stinks. Perhaps the root cause is that most North Americans feel that driving is a right, not a privilege and most think that driving skill comes naturally. It doesn’t. Most parents think they are qualified to teach their kids to drive. Most aren’t.

The most recent issue of Road & Track has a sad yet informative story about a young lady who was goofing around while driving and made a mistake that cost a life. This story is not unique, but R&T author Allen St. John does a fantastic job of getting to the details of just why so many teenagers die while driving.

These two paragraphs sum up the problem of poor parenting:

Upper-middle-class American parents spend almost $9000 annually on enrichment activities for their children. But $100-per-hour cello lessons won’t make most kids Yo-Yo Ma. The soccer career of the average boy or girl in a $1500-a-season travel league ends with high school. Most teenagers will drive for the rest of their lives.

Yet parents tend to cheap out when it comes to teaching driving to kids. The price of a typical driving course is $300. When Mercedes-Benz started its driving academy in 2009-at $1390, more than four times as expensive as the average American driving class-the company conducted focus groups with its upper-income customers, asking them how they would go about selecting a piano teacher for their kids. The answers were thoughtful, including soliciting referrals from other parents, conducting personal interviews, and observing actual lessons. By contrast, those same parents found driving schools through the Yellow Pages.

You can read the entire article here. Then pass it along to every parent you know who has a teenage driver, or those who will soon have a teenage driver. For that matter, send it to any teen drivers you know. This story might just save a life.

  • Insider Report: May we recommend driving school?
  • Insider Report: May we recommend driving school?
  • Insider Report: May we recommend driving school?

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