The Edmond Sun

April 29, 2013

Bridgestone brings teen driver training event to Remington Park


Special to The Sun

OKLA. CITY — Knowing in advance how a vehicle will react in an emergency situation can make all the difference between a serious crash and a near miss that saves many lives. For most new drivers, this essential feel for a car’s power and control isn’t learned in a basic driver’s education class or by tips from mom and dad on the open road.

The Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart Driving Experience will give new drivers a chance to learn and experience such vital driving controls in a safe, closed-course environment. The free, half-day workshop set for May 11 and May 12 at Remington Park is designed as a hands-on training session to teach young people the skills needed to better handle accident avoidance situations, make good choices and eliminate distracted driving behaviors.

Each session combines classroom instruction with putting students behind the wheel for several hands-on driving exercises — including a skid pad — to reinforce smart decision-making on the open road. The clinic demonstrates vehicle dynamics and the best ways to respond in less-than-ideal driving situations; all within a fun and interactive environment.

Remington Park is off the I-35 expressway at exit 132 (Northeast 50th Street). The event will take place in the facility’s C-3/D-3 parking lot. Enter from North Eastern Avenue/Martin Luther King Avenue

There are four half-day sessions for families to choose from; starting at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day May 11 and May 12.

Those eligible to attend are students ages 15-21 with valid permit or driver’s license. The event is free, but registration is required. To register: visit www.TeensDriveSmartTour.com.

Bridgestone’s Teens Drive Smart program sessions are led by highly-trained instructors, many with motorsports, stunt driving and test track experience. They understand critical vehicle dynamics and put the students through practice maneuvers that can be replicated on the open road to avoid crashes. The instructors show these life-saving driving concepts, share tips to improve reaction time and provide constructive feedback.

The program’s curriculum for teenagers is designed to:

• Define and identify distracted driving behaviors;

• Identify the dangerous situations caused by distracted driving;

• Develop a base understanding of driving principles;

• Show the importance of keeping your eyes on the road;

• Understand reaction times in emergency braking situations and how to control your vehicle on slippery surfaces;

• Accident avoidance and vehicle dynamics;

Parents are invited to watch and hear what their children are being taught, and also can learn:

• An awareness of their own behind-the-wheel behavior and how it impacts their teens’ driving patterns;

• How to model proper driving habits; and

• The importance of clarifying and enforcing the rules of responsible driving with teens.

“New statistics show that after years of declining rates of teen deaths due to car crashes, they’re again on the rise, so having this type of training is still crucial,” said Angela Patterson, Bridgestone’s teen driver safety coordinator. “This program helps our newest drivers see the true impact distracted driving can have, and shows them how to make the best decisions while behind the wheel and avoid deadly collisions. Bridgestone remains committed to educating our newest drivers on how to stay safe on the road, and this new experience offers valuable information to help them do that."