This post was written as part of my association with TeenDrive365 and the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic. For more information on the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic, please visit http://bit.ly/1nfUJ0e
Because there’s more to safe driving than keeping your eyes on the road Toyota is hosting TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics throughout our area during September and October.
Where was this when I was learning to drive?
I remember, back when the time was coming for me to get my license, my mother was so nervous. I couldn’t wait for the freedom of being able to drive somewhere on my own and not having to depend on a parent. My mom was in no rush. If she could have postponed it for a few more years, I think she would have. Of course, when I took my driving lesson…. that’s when I realized how different it is when you are behind the wheel. All of a sudden I was nervous and just driving 30 miles an hour felt like it was way tooo fast. ;-) How would I ever manage the open road or merging onto New Jersey’s highways in busy traffic?
Those were the questions I had when I just started driving…… it was all about the driving, I didn’t think about what else I really needed to know. I mean when you’re 16, what else do you think there is? Hands on 10 and 2. Always signal. The gas pedal is here and the brake pedal is here. It’s not until you start growing up and have your own car that you realize there is more to being a driver than that.
Fast forward a few years, I drove off to college in my first car, a Dodge Diplomat. I didn’t think about how to check my oil or how to change a tire. I just knew to keep gas in the tank and the deer accessories on. (My first two years of college, I attended Stockton where deer were known to be along the roads leading into and out of the campus.) There was much I should have known both about taking care of my car and being a good driver. Thankfully, we didn’t have the distractions that drivers have now, but there were still risks to driving none the less.
During my first holiday break from Stockton, I would commute up and down the parkway from the Old Bridge area where I lived to the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing. I was working a part-time job to pay for college expenses, but I was staying up way too late working on a stocking for a college boyfriend. I was young, foolish, and in love, but I was also driving while very overtired and I probably did it for too many days in a row. I drank soda along the drive thinking the caffeine was all I would need to keep me awake. Luck ran out one day when I did fall asleep at the wheel. I awoke to my car grinding against a Garden State Parkway guard rail and a cop car not too far behind me. I must have had a guardian angel. When I think about all the what ifs, I know how fortunate I was. My injuries were only minor. I did not injure anyone else and other than a long mark down the side of the car, there was no damage to it. After that, I never allowed that to happen again. I took preventive measures so I wouldn’t put myself or anyone else at risk.
There were no TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics then. Parents knew young drivers were risky but didn’t know what we know that the greatest risk for an accident for a driver comes in the first two years of their driving. And even now, I think we (teens and adults) hear the message about distracted driving over and over, but do we really here it? And isn’t there more we want our kids to know before they start driving?
Think about this most kids will get their licenses and permits between ages 16 and 17. Then, it’s not much longer before they will be off to college, on their own, and possibly with a car. One of the best things we can do for our kids is to get them prepared. With lessons not just in driving safely, but also in how to care for your car Toyota’s TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics can do just that and in a manner that will make your kids want to listen. (Heck, even I want to learn more.)
What do teens & parents learn at the TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics?
it’s a 2.5 hour interactive session and includes beyond basics approach to road safety. It includes car care tips, coaching techniques and other practical tools in a safe, non-sales environment. Families participate in hands-on activities in class and around the car to promote safe-driving behavior.
It’s an interactive clinic where Toyota will cover
- Defensive driving “universal truths” and best practices
- Understanding your vehicle’s performance dynamics
- Dangerous driving distractions and how to avoid them
- Car operations, safety features and basic maintenance fundamentals
- Communication and coaching tips for parents and teens
- Mutual driving agreements for pre-driver/new-driver teens and their parents
This video will show you a little more about the Toyota’s TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics.
TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics Schedule for New Jersey & New York Events
TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics New Jersey Events
- 9/20: Liberty Toyota Burlington, NJ
- 9/21: Holman Toyota Mount Laurel, NJ
- 10/12: DCH Freehold Toyota Freehold, NJ
- 10/25: Autoland Toyota Springfield, NJ
TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics New York Events
- 9/13: City World Toyota Bronx, NY
- 9/14: Toyota of Manhattan New York, NY
- 10/04: Gault Toyota Endicott, NY
- 10/05: Lia Toyota of Colonie Schenectady, NY
- 10/11: DCH Toyota City Mamaroneck, NY
- 10/18: Millennium Toyota Hempstead, NY
- 10/19: Penn Toyota Greenvale, NY
- 10/26: Bay Ridge Toyota Brooklyn, NY
To register for any of these TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics visit this link http://bit.ly/1nfUJ0e.
I hope you will join me at one of the clinics above. And yes, I know my kids are still young, thankfully, years away from driving. But I also know it will be here before I know it and it’s never too early to teach them about safe driving. Since they are too young to join me for one of these clinics I will be taking my friend with her teen son who just got his permit. I am excited to attend this and see it through the eyes of a new driver and possibly meet some of our readers with their own new drivers. Make sure to follow us online with the hashtag #TeenDrive365 but only when it’s safe to do so.