Teaching teens safe driving

STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Getting behind the wheel of a car: It’s a moment many teens look forward to, but they don’t always realize the responsibility that comes with it.

Jasmine Yearwood of Stratford said, “I went to driving school, passed with flying colors, thought I was doing great. Five months later I got into a really bad accident and totaled my car.” Instead of making the same mistake twice, Jasmine Yearwood is trying to strengthen her skills and gain more confidence in the driver’s seat. She took part in today’s fourth annual “street survival program” in Stratford.

Keith Scala, street survival program organizer, said, “This is a more advanced driving course beyond regular driver’s ed. The focus is mainly on maneuverability and how to handle various driving conditions, things that better prepare a teen on the open road.”

Scala added, “These are all skills that as experienced drivers we know, but teens don’t know because they are new drivers.”

Anti-lock brakes were a big topic today. Scala says many teens will press down hard if they need to stop quickly. They feel them pulsate, think something is wrong, so they let go and aren’t able to stop in time.

To take part in today’s program you actually had to sign up a head of time. So if your teenage driver wasn’t able to take part in it all, there’s still some valuable information you can pass on to them to make sure they stay safe on the road.

“The parents really need to control the cars. They need to really monitor when the car is driven and how the teen is driving it. Second thing is that they really have to beat it into the teen the big problem of distracted driving. Their friends do it, they think they can do it. The parents have to say ‘Hey, look, you can’t do this,'” Scala said.

Taking the time to learn the right way to drive can ultimately be the difference between life and death.Yearwood said, “Take driving very seriously, be on the defense at all times. You are not indestructible. Anything can happen.”

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