More than 2,800 teen drivers learned how to drive smarter and safer in 2016 thanks to Tire Rack Street Survival, a national, nonprofit advanced teen driving program. In 2017, Tire Rack Street Survival will celebrate 15 years of teaching teens the behind-the-wheel skills that keep all Americans safer on the roads.
“Since our very first class in 2002, we have educated more than 21,000 young drivers about the maintenance needs of their vehicles and the maneuvers that will keep them safe in emergency situations,” said Bill Wade, national program manager for Tire Rack Street Survival. “As we start our 15th year, we’re moving forward with new classes faster than ever.”
In 2016, Tire Rack Street Survival hosted a total of 106 classes across the country, which represents six percent growth over 2015. The program reached new markets, including Charlotte, North Carolina; and returned to cities that had long been absent from the course schedule, including Wilmington, Delaware.
Each class teaches licensed drivers between the ages of 15 and 21 important, potentially life-saving skills such as how to maneuver through a skid and how to avoid distractions while driving. In many classes, students get to sit behind the wheel of a semi-truck to experience the vehicle’s significant blind spots for themselves. Because students use their own vehicles during the program, they also learn how to check the air pressure of their tires, check the oil level and perform other routine maintenance to learn about the responsibility that comes with driving their vehicle.
“When they get behind the wheel of a vehicle, under-prepared teen drivers pose a risk to themselves, their passengers and other drivers on the road,” said Matt Edmonds, vice president of Tire Rack. “Tire Rack Street Survival ensures that new and inexperienced drivers have the real-world training they need. The curriculum goes far beyond what any student in a traditional driver education program will learn. Ultimately, the training these teens receive not only makes them safer, but it makes our country’s roads safer.”
Looking ahead, Tire Rack Street Survival’s 15th-anniversary year is revving up for even greater success. In 2017, the program will host its 1000th class, and program leaders hope to make 2017 the fifth consecutive year with more than 100 classes hosted.
Meanwhile, the need for Tire Rack Street Survival’s curriculum remains high. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, with approximately six teens ages 16-19 dying every day from motor vehicle injuries.