New Driver Car Control Clinic Coming to St. Mary’s County - Southern Maryland Headline News

New Driver Car Control Clinic Coming to St. Mary’s County

Chopticon High School - August 25 – 27, 2006

Leonardtown High School - September 28, September 30-October 1, 2006

Young drivers in St. Mary’s County represent only 7.5% of the population. However, this same percentage of the population is involved in more than 31% of motor vehicle crashes in St. Mary’s county. Often, these crashes result in devastating injuries or even death.

The nationally acclaimed New Driver Car Control Clinic®, a hands-on, in-car accident avoidance and defensive driving skills clinic for teens and their parents will be at Chopticon High School on August 25-27, 2006 and Leonardtown High School Thursday September 28, September 30-October 1, 2006.

This popular behind-the-wheel Clinic focuses on teaching parents and teens critical accident-avoidance maneuvers and defensive-driving skills such as:

- eye management - judging spatial relationships

- steering management - making the car go precisely where you want it to, even in an emergency and

- brake management - the so-called panic stop without the panic.

- The exercises are performed in a series of cone patterns in the family's own car on both wet and dry pavement.

"Driving is a psychomotor skill," says Clinic founder David Thompson. "Just like learning to play the piano requires an actual keyboard, so does learning to control an automobile in an emergency demand that you actually drive a car."

Hands-on Clinic sessions are limited to ten parent-student teams per session. Families use their own car—preferably the one the teen is most likely to end up driving. Teens need to have at least a Learner’s Permit and have completed Drivers Education Training. Each team receives 90 minutes of classroom and four hours of in-car instruction, a 45-minute DVD and 56-page workbook with diagrams of ten exercises, a log and a Parent-Teen Contract so that they can continue to practice and learn these life-saving maneuvers. The Florida Department of Highway Safety tracked Clinic graduates over four years and reports that those graduates have 77% fewer crashes than their untrained peers.

The Clinic will be at Chopticon High School on August 25-27, 2006 and Leonardtown High School September 28, September 30-October 1, 2006. A full schedule is available at or by calling 800-862-3277.

Tuition is $149 per Parent/Student team. However, for the August class only the price is $99. A grant through the Maryland Highway Safety Office offers a discount of $50 per student/parent team. The second class is at the regular price of $149 per Parent/Student team. Advance registration required. Registration and schedules are available at

The clinic is sponsored by St. Mary’s County Highway Safety Program Community Services Division, Maryland’s State Highway Administration Highway Safety Office and St. Mary’s County Public Schools. Parents can contact their local highway safety program coordinator, Ms. Jacqueline Beckman, at 301-475-4200 ext 1850.

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