Teen driving course goes extreme

April 5, 2009 4:57:17 PM PDT
It's been a deadly few weeks for teens on Houston-area roads. At least three have been killed in crashes. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Statistics show it's an on-going problem when teens get behind the wheel. So a new program rolled into town to show teens how to handle conditions that could cause an accident. It's called The Drivers Edge program and it took place at the Sam Houston Raceway on Sunday.

Once behind the wheel, regardless of age, it's all up to the driver how to handle any surprise situations. Both Claudia Willis and fellow teen Chris Lipp got behind the wheel and realized they had a lot to learn.

"I learned about steering and ABS breaks and things they don't teach you in driver's education, it's real world experience," Willis said.

"The maneuvers we were doing?I've never done that on the road," Lipp said.

Hundreds of teenagers showed up to try the course.

"We're actually trying to save lives and make a difference," says program founder Jeff Payne. "The whole purpose of the Drivers Edge program is to give young adults a wakeup call to how serious driving really is."

There is some classroom instruction but most important the teens are learning how to really handle a car.

"You always worry as a parent, you can never have your kids out driving around and not worry," Peter Lipp said.

Maybe he'll worry a little less now that his son has had a lesson that'll keep him from causing a crash, or at least, help him walk away from one.

The program tours the country and this week it happened to be in Houston. There is no charge for teens to attend the Driver's Edge program. It's a non-profit funded by private donations. Bridgestone is one of its primary sponsors.

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