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Local teens get extreme driving training

The Ford Driving Skills for Life helped 475 new drivers this weekend
Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 13:57:28-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — All weekend long, parents and teenagers drove out to the Broadmoor World Arena parking lot to get some new experience behind the wheel.

The free Ford Driving Skills for Life was brought to Colorado Springs in partnership with the Ford Motor Fund, The Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Governor's Highway Safety Association.

Glenn Davis is the Highway Safety Manager with C.D.O.T.

He says it's especially important that this group of drivers is getting the training they need.

"The foundation that young drivers get is what they'll take into adulthood", said Davis.

He continued, "The state will have 130,000 crashes roughly every year, and that age group, we call them young drivers, is 20 and under, sometimes is overrepresented by percentage, and they're not always the at-fault driver either. But they do not have the experience that older drivers do to sometimes avoid some of the risks".

Nolan Katerberg manages the Ford Driving Skills for Life Program. He says that it's, "...all about giving teens and parents the next step beyond drivers education".

"We don't really talk too much about rules of the road, it's all about what happens in situations if you lose control of the vehicles, how do you gain control", continues Katerberg.

Nadia Flores and her mother Diana left their camping trip early Sunday morning to make sure they could be at the event.

Nadia is 15 years old and just got her Driver's Learner Permit in June. She says she's had some experience driving in unusual conditions, but nothing like the courses she's been on today.

There were courses on controlling a car when drifting
out of control, hazard recognition, distracted driving and
impaired driving. Nadia tried on the usual "drunk goggles", along with a suit that simulates the effects of alcohol on the body.

Nadia, has never texted and driven before, but after trying it on a closed course, she's scared straight.

"I will not be texting and driving. ever.", she says.

Her mother thought this experience would be foundational for her daughter.

"I'm the nervous mom, right in the car with her, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for her to... watch her get into some uncomfortable situations so I can get more comfortable with her driving", said Flores.

Through all the hard work at the workshop today, Nadia still had a great time. She encourages all of her peers to sign up the next time Ford Driving Skills for Life is in town.

"I mean, do it. It's so fun, I met some new people, I got to laugh with my instructors, I got to know a bunch of different things that I wouldn't have known if I didn't take it", said Nadia.

If you'd like to receive updates on when the next workshop will be in town and how to sign up for free, you can click here.

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