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Teen Drivers Challenge

By Julie Montanaro
October 12, 5:40pm

Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers. A new type of driver’s ed aims to do something about that.

It's high pressure, relatively high speed and definitely hands-on, teens behind the wheel negotiating speed, steering, braking, and a mine field of orange cones. It's the same course law enforcement officers must pass.

It's called the teen driver’s challenge, four hours in class and then eight behind the wheel, the wheel of your own car, to test its limits and yours.

"I actually got in a wreck two weeks after I got my license," said Leon High School Student Meagean Chestnut, "and so it's really good to come out here and get experience and just know, like, don't brake when you're turning and all kinds of stuff like that, so, I don't know, I've learned a lot."

"What we're learning, it could save our lives one day," said Chiles High School student Donteris Andrews, "because you never know what situation you're going to get yourself into each morning that you wake up."

This driving program comes complete with slick streets, courtesy of a field of sprinklers, to teach teens what to do if their tires lock up and they begin to hydroplane.

The program was developed for the Florida Sheriff's Association by the Leon County Sheriff's Office and four others around the state.

They hope to expand it statewide in the next few years as a way to supplement traditional driver’s ed courses.


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