Driving School

Car Control/Safety, Understanding Vehicle Dynamics

Registration cost is $95.00 per driver.
This event is open to all valid licensed drivers with NO prerequisites required to attend. Invite your teenage children, parents, friends or coworkers to experience the art of car control.

Introduction
The purpose of our Driving School is to enhance your awareness of the conditions around you and develop your ability to respond quickly and properly should a dangerous condition be upon you in daily driving.

Join us for a full day of in-car skill-building exercises learning the art of car control. This school will expose you to many aspects of driving safety and car dynamics - starting with a classroom setting and then rotating through different driving exercises; with lunch provided.

School Goals
You will learn the sounds and physical sensations of your car as it exceeds the limits of adhesion. Then you will learn to drive your car under control just within its limit of adhesion. Learn how to drive smoothly and then learn how abrupt you can be with the car while still maintaining control.

What you Gain
The Driving School is designed to teach all students that the act of driving a motor vehicle is an intensive mentally activity. You must pay strict attention to your actions and those of the drivers around you. Through classroom and in-car instruction, you are taught how to be observant of your surroundings and vehicle. You learn how and why a car will respond to inputs to the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal - the physics of car control. The school provides a way to prepare for the unexpected, and to practice accident avoidance skills.

Ground School
The school begins with a general explanation of the day's activities, safety issues, and how the in-car activities will be conducted. There will be a discussion of each in-car exercise so that you understand what the exercise is designed to teach and how best to perform it. Questions are encouraged.

Driving Exercises
Exercise segments have been designed to allow you to physically experience the vehicle dynamics theory explained in the classroom. Using orange traffic cones, exercises are laid out on the pavement for you to negotiate. An experienced instructor will ride with you to explain the exercise, offer corrections, praise accomplishment and answer questions immediately. With this real-time feedback, learning is enhanced.

The exercise segments are laid out with safety buffer zones around them to provide you a large margin of error, keeping you out of trouble. The exercise area is isolated to preclude access by non-school participants. The pavement in the exercise area is wet down to minimize tire adhesion. This allows you to experience the vehicle's responses to your inputs at much lower speeds than in the dry.

Skills exercises include:

  • Slalom
  • Threshold Braking (braking distance)
  • Emergency lane change Maneuver
  • Handling Oval

Day of Event
Clean all loose objects out of your car including mats, and bring a tarp or plastic carry-all to hold/protect all your stuff while you're in class.

Dress in layers!

Bring plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated.

Arrive early.

Attendees
This program has been attended by drivers with less than one years experience and by drivers with over 40 years of experience. Teenagers comment they have FUN attending this all-day physics lesson and leave the event with a more mature and responsible attitude toward their driving. The older drivers comment that they never really understood vehicle handling and were very surprised at the maneuvers they could execute and the car control techniques they could learn in just one day.

Vehicle Condition
We would prefer your car to be inspected by an ASE certified mechanic prior to attending the school. Read through the Car Prep page to know what to look for, and/or print out and give to your mechanic. Be sure you still have lots of front brake pad left as they will wear out quickly during the braking exercise.

Our Tech Inspectors will do a cursory inspection of your car and will be looking at things like tire wear, brakes, fluid leaks, brake lights and seat belts.

Good Driving Habits
Here is a list of good basic driving habits for you to practice and think about in day-to-day driving.

  1. Practice smart steering wheel control. Your hands should be at the 9:00 and 3:00 o'clock positions. This provides you with the greatest control over your car and keeps your arms out of the way in case of 'Airbag' deployment.
  2. Set and use your side view mirrors so very little to none of the side of your car is visible. This allows you to have a very wide view of what is behind and to the side of you.
  3. Look ahead to improve your peripheral vision. Generally look to the second or third vehicle ahead of you so you can get a bigger picture of what is happening ahead of time.
  4. Drive with a correct seat position. To test if you are seated correctly do the following: Sit up straight in the driver seat. Your shoulders should be touching the seat back. Next, extend your arms straight out in front of you, your wrists should touch the top rim of the steering wheel. Adjust your seat till you can accomplish this task easily. Always wear your seatbelt.
  5. Practice courteous driving habits while becoming more aware of all cars around you. Develop your positive communicative skills by signaling ahead of time and practice the '3 second' safe distance maneuver while following vehicles ahead of you on the road.
  6. Practice smooth movements while turning, braking and applying throttle.
  7. Avoid downshifting to slow your car, use your brakes that's what they are for.
  8. Practice smooth braking by imagining a "raw egg' between your foot and the brake pedal. If you press too hard too quickly the egg will break.

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