Saving lives one driver at a time
Phase I – An Interactive Classroom
The classroom curriculum is very focused and interactive. It is not just a box of videos to show how dangerous driving can be. It is not just lecture. In addition to the classroom instruction, there are breakout groups of kids working through problems in specific driving conditions; intense virtual decision making in various intersection situations; how to handle all kinds of driving environments; high traffic and mountain driving; rainstorm and winter driving; how to handle crisis situations; entry and exit of the most dangerous driving situations; caring for and correctly using the basic operational systems of the car; details of auto insurance - coverage and costs; and of course, the rules of the road – the laws.
It is the most effective and appropriate way for kids to learn about driving. This is what it is. Now let us tell you what it is not.
The Interactive Classroom is NOT 100 or 200 kids in an auditorium, where the teacher has no opportunity to make sure everyone is involved and paying attention. It is NOT a total on-line course, where most kids go to the test page and begin to click on the multiple choice answers. Where the objective is to get through the curriculum material with the least amount of effort and the least amount of cost.
Phase II – The Driving Camp
The Driving Camp is one of the most important parts of the MasterDrive Experience. An IMMERSION in actual driving – Two full days – Fourteen hours of actual car control skills - how to handle crisis situations; how to brake in a crisis without going out of control; how to avoid a crash; how to drive in slick road conditions; and more.
The Driving Camp is similar to a soccer camp or a baseball camp - in that it is like an intensive training camp to learn the specific skills of a sport. Except that the focus is upon learning the survival skills in regard to driving. By doing repetitions of drills for skills to actually learn about car control!
Most kids do not understand anything about the dynamics of a 4,000 pound vehicle in motion. And yet, crashes are caused by the driver losing control of the dynamics of a car. A new driver does not learn about dynamics by lecture or watching a video.
What do most people do in a crisis? Panic. Slam on the brakes. Lock up and go out of control. Threshold braking is the skill to squeeze the brakes – learning to use the brakes at the maximum level – and still have directional control.
Every driver needs to learn about the limits of traction – especially a new driver. And it’s not just about driving in snow and ice. In a heavy rain storm, the tires can be riding on top of water. We all know what that’s called … hydroplaning. How many units of traction do you have when your tires are hydroplaning? About the same as black ice.
How does anyone learn how to do these things. You learn them by doing. Repetitions. Over and over again. The only question is, would it be important for your teen to learn these skills? Skills they will need for the rest of their lives.
Phase III. On-Street Training – This is truly "where the rubber meets the road"
Kids are literally learning to drive on a different planet than when we learned to drive. The roads are more congested and aggressive than ever before. It’s critical that they have experience of driving in every scenario possible before driving alone.
The MasterDrive coaches take each student through a series of sessions specifically designed to familiarize the student with various environments and driving conditions. In each session, the student is evaluated on their skills, awareness, and decision making. On what they did well – and what they may need to work on. Parents receive a detailed evaluation of each session for them to use as a helpful tool when they are riding with their teen while they have their permit.
The state requires that the teen have 6 hours behind the wheel on the streets with an instructor, and will require that parents log at least another 50 hours with their teen. MasterDrive recommends that you aim for 2 or 3 times (or more) the hours required by the state. If you ask a teen how many hours they have practiced in order to play a sport, that will be several hundred hours. Driving is more complicated and much more dangerous.
Contact MasterDrive for a free Driving Log and Teen Driver Survival Manual, published by The Driving Skills Institute. This is like a pilot’s log, and will help you keep track what you need to do in preparing your teen driver.