Here is David’s description of his participation in the Driver’s Edge program last Saturday:
So, Saturday I got to attend Drivers Edge in Atlanta. If you’re not familiar with it, Drivers Edge is a non-profit driver’s education program based in Las Vegas that travels around the country, run by professional race car drivers. It holds that in America today, people are not truly taught how to drive, but merely how to pass the driver’s license test, and it therefore seeks to teach new drivers the skills needed to actually drive safely.
All the participants were given a short test on their knowledge of driving and car care in general, and then we were divided up into four groups, to move through the four different portions of the program. I first attended a talk given by a local police officer on traffic laws and safety, and his personal advice. It was mildly interesting, but the highlight was one of the fathers asking the officer if he should teach his daughter to obey the speed limit or follow the flow of traffic. I’m sure you can guess what the answer was.
Then we moved on to the oversteer portion, where I got to drive a very nice BMW vehicle through a wet portion of the parking lot and learn what it feels like to spin out a car, and how to prevent it. That was fun, and the cars were air-conditioned, which, considering the 95 degree heat, was quite nice. The primary lesson here is to look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid. After that we moved on to the driving posture, safety, and car care lecture/comedy act. The speaker did an excellent job of making a somewhat dull subject more interesting, and taught me to Wash BOATS.
Finally it was back to the cars for the braking and avoidance course. The idea here was to experience what ABS feels like when it activates, and it does kick a bit. The second portion was a small jink in the track meant to simulate a rapid lane change on a highway. I got a bit of a lecture here on proper steering, and how to keep a firm grip on the wheel at all times.
Finally, there was a post-test to be compared to the pre-test, and some awards were handed out. I got one for scoring in the top two of the group on the pre-test, and there were awards for the driving portions for best driver and most improved. Then they handed out various, free, merchandise, and certificates of completion, and then we were done.
Since taking the course, I’ve done a bit of driving, and have noticed myself paying more attention to the road, particularly farther ahead, and keeping a better grip on the steering wheel. Overall, I’d say it was a worthwhile experience, though the day and a half on the road there and back might have been a bit much.