Race Car Drivers Train Teens in Driving Safety

Teens all across the country are learning to be safer drivers, thanks to Driver's Edge, a nonprofit organization developed by professional driver Jeff Payne to address the number of youth-related automobile collisions and fatalities.

The Driver's Edge staff of professional race car drivers and driving instructors will train teens in 15 U.S. cities as part of its annual National Tour.

Participating students in each session experience:

* Classroom and behind-the-wheel defensive driving instruction on skid control, evasive lane-change maneuvers, and anti-lock and panic-braking techniques.

* Local law enforcement sessions to demonstrate impaired driving awareness and seat belt safety.

* Proper car maintenance based on Firestone Complete Auto Care's award-winning Car Care Academies.

* Written tests designed to measure students' driving knowledge before and after completing the Driver's Edge program.

For drivers unable to participate in a Driver's Edge program, the professionals offer the following safety tips:

* Remain alert and be aware of what's going on around you. An April 2006 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly 80 percent of all crashes are caused by some form of driver inattention three seconds before the event.

* During a skid, if you feel that you have any chance of regaining control, your feet should do nothing. Stay off the gas and the brake; correct everything with the steering wheel. Once you recover, use the appropriate pedal.

* If you find yourself spinning out of control, remember "in a spin, both feet in." That means when you realize you can't regain control, push as hard as possible on the brake and put the clutch in if you have a manual transmission.

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