SALLY SANTORA/For the County News
Driver education student Justin Austin practices safe driving skills with Priority One simulation training.
Priority One driver system simulates DWI
We know that every parent of a young driver is uneasy this time of year when his or her teen gets behind the wheel of the car. Statistically, the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most dangerous for teen drivers. Teens are driving to grad parties, concerts, summer jobs and in general, they drive more during the summer.
This is the time to remind teens about safe driving tips. There are many ways to do that. Many teens have taken driver education at school or are taking it this summer.
Cal-Mum driver education students were privileged to take part in an innovative program called Priority One simulated driver training. Priority One is a state of the art, full motion driving simulator that puts young drivers into scenarios much like those they would encounter on the highway, including inclement weather conditions, vehicle malfunctions and adverse traffic conditions.
Priority One came to the Cal-Mum campus in a fully equipped mobile training center. The students took the driver’s seat in front of three 46-inch high definition LCD screens that displayed the traffic scene using a sophisticated MPRI computer system.
Each scenario focused on driver safety and provided the students with the opportunity to practice critical decision making skills in a risk-free environment. Technology makes it possible for young drivers and emergency personnel to experience dangerous conditions while inside a safe controlled environment, not on the highway. Tim Steeves, owner of Priority One, donated his time and the simulator for several driver education classes.
Driver Education teacher Lee Staley said the students experienced counter fish tail skidding from both front and rear wheel drive vehicles, an invaluable skill to practice, he said. They also experienced simulations in darkness, rain, snow and icy conditions. Staley said the students were impressed with the advanced technology of the simulator and he appreciated Steves bringing it to the school.
Cornell Cooperative Extension offers the National Safety Council’s driver improvement program called Alive at 25. It is a four hour class for young adults ages 16 – 25. The class was held at the extension in Mount Morris on Tuesday.
Organizations and or schools can schedule an Alive at 25 class at their location by calling the Cornell Cooperative Extension and asking for Traffic Safety Education Program Coordinator June Webster. CCE has much more information available at ccelivingstoncounty.org and on their Facebook page where they are posting daily safe driver tips.
Whatever driver safety program your teen participates in, none can take the place of open communication with your teen about the dangers of driving while being distracted by friends, texting or talking on a cell phone, consuming alcohol when driving or getting into a vehicle driven by someone who has consumed alcohol or other substances that impair the driver’s ability.
Remind your teen to always wear a seatbelt whether driving or riding in a vehicle.