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Firestone Offers Free Education for Young Drivers

Published Mar 31st 2007, 4:16pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Firestone Offers Free Education for Young Drivers

Ap_drivers_edge_driver_killing_cone Firestone Complete Auto Care presents Driver's Edge - a no cost educational program for young drivers aged 15-21 to teach real-life emergency avoidance and response techniques and overall driver safety.

In this program, drivers under the age of 18--the ones most likely to be involved in car crashes over the last five years according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety--will learn how to stay safer on the roads thanks to Driver's Edge. Driver's Edge, a non-profit organization, will give teen drivers in select U.S. cities free classroom and behind-the-wheel accident avoidance instruction to combat this statistic.

Firestone's youth program is taught with a unique "MTV flavor" by driving professionals through a unique combination of behind the wheel and classroom experiences. "Driver's Edge" was specifically developed to address the unacceptably high number of youth-related automobile collisions and fatalities that occur each year.

Ap_drivers_edge_fatalvision_goggles "Car accidents kill more teens than drugs, guns, and violent crimes combined, yet conventional driver's education in America only teaches young drivers how to identify road signs and the most basic of driving skills and then sends them out on the roads," said Jeff Payne, president, CEO and founder of Driver's Edge. "To keep them safe we need to take this training to the next level--use a different approach--and that's what Driver's Edge is about."
(Photo, left: Edge students in Nashville use FatalVision goggles to experience what it's like to be "impaired")

The nationally recognized program, now in its fifth year, is taught by professional racecar drivers and performance driving instructors and travels across the country each year, including visits to the top 10 states for motor vehicle related fatalities according to federal statistics. A schedule of remaining events is at the end of this article and at the official Driver's Edge Site.

Ap_drivers_edge_rollover_instructio This year, Firestone projects nearly 30,000 young drivers and their parents will attend one of the free, half-day Driver's Edge programs. "Comparable teen driver programs charge $450, but we're committed to keeping ours available for free in order to reach more people," said Steven Tepper, chief operating officer of Driver's Edge. "At the end of the day, you just can't attach a dollar figure to a family getting their teen home safely." (Photo, left: Seat belts save lives. The Tennessee Highway patrol demonstrates the importance of wearing a seat belt with their rollover simulator.)

The program is typically offered twice a day, with each session educating approximately 75 to 100 students. The students' parents are encouraged to attend and observe as well. After attending a program, Driver's Edge contacts each student at 12- and 24-month intervals to monitor driving experience following course completion.

The program includes the following elements:
* Written tests designed to measure students' driving knowledge before and after completing the course.
* Classroom and behind-the-wheel defensive driving instruction on skid control, evasive lane change maneuvers, anti-lock braking skills and panic-braking techniques.
* Local law enforcement interaction, including impaired driving awareness and seat belt safety.
* Proper car maintenance session, based on Firestone Complete Auto Care's Car Care Academies, an award-winning instructional program that has been offered throughout the United States for more than 30 years.

Young drivers, aged 15 to 21, possessing a valid learner's permit or license must register in advance for the program either by phone at 1-877-633-EDGE (3343), or online at

The current Driver's Edge schedule
Dates Event City
March 31 & April 1, 2007 Las Vegas, NV
April 14, 2007 San Diego, CA
April 21, 2007 Los Angeles, CA
May 5, 2007 Salt Lake City, UT
May 12 & 13, 2007 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
If there is currently not a Driver's Edge program scheduled in your area, please add your name and e-mail address to their Notification List. They will notify you if they add a program in the area(s) you selected.

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