Wheeling Park’s driver education program gives students six hours worth of in-car practice.
They teach skills in rain, snow, and different conditions, but their hope for their students is to actually use those skills on our roads.
According to a CBS report, in the first half of 2016 alone, it’s estimated more than 19,000 people were killed in a car crash.
“Another agency where they said traffic deaths are up about 200 or 300 so far this year, obviously we’re not to the end of the year this year. But one of the one contributing factors they thought was that the low gasoline prices is allowed everybody to drive a little bit more, so therefore we are,” said Gene Monteleone, Driving Instructor at Wheeling Park.
The statistics line up with the trend of ditching our walking shoes and turning on the engine.
It’s even scarier when we think about young drivers on the roads.
“Back in the 60s and 70s we put about 10,000 miles on the car, today the average today is about 12-15. So we’re driving a whole heck of a lot more, so it stands to reason that the number of accidents and the rate of accidents is going to go up,” said Monteleone.
These students work during their regular day at high school simulating driving to be ready for the roadways.
You might think the biggest driving mistake for teens is texting and driving but according to CBS it’s actually speeding.
“I don’t think that teens are anymore prevalent to texting and using their cell phones than we adults. When they’re behind the wheel of a car I think it’s a lack of, they get enamored with speed and then a lack of ability, coupled together where sometimes we forget the handling characteristics and the stopping characteristics of a car,” said Monteleone.
The goal for students coming out of the driving program is confidence and safety on the roads but kids need good role models behind the wheel too.
“Nobody has any patience with somebody taking their time trying to find out maybe where they’re going, changing improper lanes, if you happen to be in the wrong lane, it seems ,like we have very little tolerance for our fellow driver,” said Monteleone.
Monteleone said another key to keeping your teens safe on the road is getting them out there on the road to practice and reminding them to slow down.