I had the pleasure of going to a B.R.A.K.E.S. event over the weekend at the Pomona Fair Grounds to watch teens learn about defensive driving, avoidance and recovery techniques while driving. The organization runs these events across the country and teach about 200 teens at each event about car control and safe driving. I was able to do a ride along with an instructor as well as drive part of the course myself. The video above is with the instructor driving and me as a passenger.
The different courses teens drive are Panic Stop Exercise, Accident Avoidance/Slalom Exercise, Distraction Exercise, and Car Control and Recovery Exercise. The Panic Stop is just to teach teens how ABS braking works and to find an "out", any open area to steer too, when braking hard. Accident Avoidance and Slalom include a lane change without braking and a Slalom course to teach drivers to look ahead not just in front of the car. Distraction is where the instructor has the driver run a tight course and have loud music, talk to the driver, honk the horn and be obnoxious the whole time. Car Control and Recovery is done on a skid pad to help teens control a car during a spin, it was the only course I could not drive during the weekend.
I think anyone with a teen should have enroll them in the course, it is a great set of skills every new driver should be required to have but sadly don't. Even I learned a couple new things about just how I should be sitting in the car and how hard it can be to maneuver when someone is messing the freaking radio.
My hope is that at the next event I will be able to get a driver view of every course, time and equipment issues prevented that from happening this past weekend.