Driving school brings clinic to Milford students

Hoping to curb the incidence of teen death in automobile accidents, an independent group will be holding class at Milford High School this weekend to give teens a boost in defensive driving skills.

Advanced Car Control Techniques, a Florida-based company, will be holding a clinic at Milford High School for new drivers that emphasizes controlling your vehicle when conditions are less than familiar.

Ed Haines, chief instructor and district manager for the Cincinnati region said that Advanced Car Control Techniques has been working with drivers for over a decade.

“The program that will be running at Milford High School and other area high schools is known as the ‘new driver car control clinic,'” said Haines. “We’ve been doing clinics for about 13 or 14 years.”

Milford will be one of a host of area schools that will host the program over the coming months. Students will gather on Oct. 19, 21 and 22 to participate in the program which will feature a few hours of class instruction on Oct. 19, and four four-hour sessions of driving over Oct. 21 and 22.

“Basically, the program is an accident avoidance and defensive driving program,” said Haines. “We teach primarily young drivers, but it could be anybody, how to handle emergency situations. We put them through a series of exercises that focuses on the use of their eyes and then on their hands as far as turning ability and their foot as far as braking ability. Then we do an exercise that includes braking and turning. All of the exercises are done in a parking lot, and the braking is done on dry pavement and then wet pavement. That gives them the understanding of how their vehicle feels when out of control or on different surfaces.”

Haines said that the program is important, because the skills taught are vital to safe driving and typically not taught in driver’s education. While many people can pick up the skills over a lifetime of driving, surviving those first untrained instances can be harrowing. Providing a way to learn that in a controlled environment, said Haines, can help kids avoid a bad situation, or at least navigate through it easier.

“This is the type of training that they are not getting anywhere else,” said Haines. “This isn’t covered in drivers ed. We feel this is a benefit to people in the program who become more skilled in how to handle situations that are out of the ordinary. The benefit, we strongly feel, is we’re not only preventing property damage but saving lives. We’ve had good results as far as the number of people who come through and the testimonials they give us, and the state of Florida did a statistical analysis of our graduates. They took 460 of our graduates, tracked them over four years and compared them to a similar group of untrained drivers. Our kids had 77 percent fewer accidents than their peers. That’s a substantial result.”

Teens are paired with their parents for the class, which costs $149 per parent/student team. Each four-hour session of driving can accommodate 10 parent/student teams, and each clinic can handle about 40 such teams. Interested parents and teens, however, can visit any one of the clinics, and schedules with additional information are available online at www.carcontrol.com. Students participating will drive their own cars during the driving portion of the clinic, said Haines, to help provide them with an idea of how their car will perform in dangerous situations.

“We feel it’s very important for them to get a feel for how that vehicle is going to react in certain situations,” said Haines. “They don’t get this anywhere else, so for a parent to assume that since they’ve went through driver’s ed, that doesn’t mean they will have the skills to deal with something that is out of the ordinary.”