Teen safe driving clinics at go-kart tracks

Drivers race around the track at On Track Karting in Wallingford.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Every day an average of seven teenagers ages 16 to 19 die from injuries they got in a car crash. It’s a pretty sobering statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a wake-up call to young drivers and their parents.

Today the first of three ‘Survive the Drive‘ presentations will be held at On Track Karting in Wallingford.

While it may look like it’s just for fun, getting behind the wheel of a go-kart at On Track Karting can actually teach you a lot about driving a real car.

“If a kart spins out in front of you, what’s your reaction, what are you going to be able to do? If your kart loses control, before you hit the wall, what are going to do to regain control of your kart?” asked Marty Tyrrel, On Track Karting.

Kent was wondering the same thing as they struggled to find a helmet to fit, and then he decided to take a spin on the track himself. As a long time driver, but first time “karter,” there were several things he had to learn. As for teen drivers, the education will continue tonight with a sold-out presentation by professional racing instructor Bob Green.

“It’s a two hour program where he’ll try to impress upon the kids the physics of driving so they have an appreciation of the risks that come with driving,” said Tyrrel.

Tonight’s course is not about go-kart driving, it is more about teaching the importance of staying focused.

“Setting yourself up for the next turn, understanding what the kart next to you or in front of you is going to do, going into that turn, being able to anticipate and plan ahead – those are all factors in driving well on the track they should be applied on the road when you’re out there,” said Tyrrel.

What you will never see on the track is anybody texting or talking on a phone. That’s how it should be on the road, because there are too many terrible accidents involving distracted teen drivers.

“The phones and the other things that are going on are very much a distraction for paying attention to what needs to be done,” said Tyrrel. Other Survive the Drive events will be held at:

  • Mt Kisco, NY – Grand Prix New York, March 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Brookfield, CT – On Track Karting, April 9 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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