BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of U.S. teenagers from ages 15 to 20, with more than 5,000 teens involved in a fatal crash each year and an additional 196,000 injured.
Tire Rack Street Survival is trying to reduce that number through safety driving programs held around the country. The program’s statistics show that a 16-year old is 20 percent more likely to be killed in a crash than an adult.
The Tire Rack Street Survival Teen Driver Safety School will be at the Daytona Beach International Speedway’s inner track on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Students participating will range from 15 to 20 years old.
“This is a national program run by various clubs. We decided to bring this to International Speedway because it’s in conjunction with race weekend. We will be road racing at the track and we thought that doing the school here for the kids would be a great thing to do,” said Art Trier, chairman of the Central Florida Region Sports Car Club of America.
The Central Florida club is hosting the event and has been participating in it for the past nine years.
Several other racing organizations are involved, including RCA, Michelin, BMW Car Club of America Foundation and Enterprise.
The Tire Rack Street Survival Teen Driver School has been in existence for the past 14 years and trained more than 20,000 drivers. Tire Rack Street Survival is a 501©(3) non-profit organization specializing in advance driver’s education for teens.
It is held in different cities across the nation each weekend of the year. In 2015 alone, 100 schools were completed. The goal for 2016 is to have 125 schools.
“This is not the regular driver’s education that you have in the high schools,’’ Trier explained. “We do real-live car control situations that teaches them how to avoid accidents. We try to stress that they use the vehicle they normally drive. We teach them how to handle a vehicle, how it responds and more.”
The school targets teens but students primarily attend at their parents’ prodding.
“We encourage kids to come, but mostly it’s the parents who are interested,’’ Trier added. “Ninety- five percent of the time the parents enroll the child. Fifteen- to 16 year-old kids think that they are good drirvers who can handle the vehicle. The parents know better.
“The parents research us on the web and get them there on Saturday,” he added.
Trier pointed out that the class teaches students how to respond in emergency situations and how to avoid accidents.
This school often becomes a family affair.
“It kind of does. We encourage the parents and grandparents to attend. They need their parents to sign waivers to attend. In most cases, at least one parent attends with the child,” said Trier.
Enrollment was at capacity of 35 as of Daytona Times’ Wednesday deadline with eight on the waiting list. Enrollment is designed to give more one-on-one and specialized training.
“Unfortunately, it will be difficult for us to accommodate those on the waiting list. We do one-on-one coach to students and we have 35 instructors. That’s about all that we can handle,” Trier added.
There is a fee of $75 to attend but officials say the money covers much more.
“The fee is flat, but we provide so much more. We provide free lunch for the student, their parents and their guests that come with them. We also provide soda and water throughout the event. They also get a certificate that could provide them with insurance rate discounts. That depends on the insurance company,” Trier noted.
The Sports Car Club of America is a club and sanctioning body supporting road racing, rallying, and autocross in the United States. Formed in 1944, it runs many programs for both amateur and professional racers.
For more information, visit http://streetsurvival.org. For more on the Central Florida Region of SCAA, go to www.sfrscaa.org.