Here at MOPAR, we don’t just care about our vehicles, we care about our drivers too — even the youngest ones.

That is why we are teaming up with the NHRA Motorsports Museums to provide a defensive driving program geared toward teenagers (age 15-19) and their parents or guardians.

The NHRA Motorsports Museum’s Road Ready Teen Driving Experience made possible by MOPAR is a free, advanced driving school, for teenagers 15-19 who have a learner’s permit or driver’s license with at least 30 hours of driving experience. The program will teach teens defensive driving techniques on a closed course in a controlled environment. Each teen invitation to the training program will include a companion experience for a parent or adult guardian who will actively participate in the program.

The Road Ready Teen Driving Experience will bring together the NHRA Motorsports Museum and B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), two nationally recognized non-profit 501(C)(3) organizations who share similar missions and are dedicated to safety. Utilizing the skilled staff and proven curriculum developed by B.R.A.K.E.S., our goal will be to prevent injuries and save lives by training and educating teenage drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving. B.R.A.K.E.S. high caliber instructors will educate teens and their parents through both classroom and hands-on instruction. A low 3:1 student to instructor ratio will allow for quality time with each teen.

Each session will begin with a brief review of some basic driving topics including; proper seating position, hand positioning, and basic vehicle dynamics. After finishing the classroom portion, the teens receive hands-on training in five courses including; accident avoidance/slalom, distraction, panic stop, wheel drop, and wet skid pad.

The team at B.R.A.K.E.S. works closely with the department of transportation and the local and state police to determine which courses will be the most beneficial for teen drivers. The curriculum and training provided will be reflective of the most current data on teen automobile crashes and fatalities and will consist of 5 hands on / in vehicle modules.

Accident Avoidance/Slalom Exercise

The accident avoidance and slalom course is a two part course that forces students to make a split second reaction to negotiate a quick, evasive lane change without losing control. This part of the course is designed to simulate an animal or object jumping out in front of a car. The second part of the course is a coned slalom course where students must negotiate their vehicle around cones while focusing on weight transfer, hand positioning, and eye scanning.

Drop Wheel/Off Road Recovery Exercise

The drop wheel recovery course teaches students how to effectively recover from a drop wheel situation by regaining control of the car and safely returning to the roadway. Drop wheel accidents are among the highest causes of injuries and deaths in the state of North Carolina.

Distraction Exercise

The distraction course forces a driver to negotiate a tightly coned course while being distracted by the instructor. The course is designed to demonstrate just how dangerous cell phones, text messaging, music, traffic, and friends in the car can be.

Panic Stop Exercise

The panic stop course is designed to teach students the proper technique to stop a vehicle in the shortest distance while maintaining control. Students experience first-hand the effects of an A.B.S. (Anti-Lock Braking System) and its ability to keep the wheels from locking while modulating brake pressure.

Car Control and Recovery Exercise

We use a wet skid pad course designed to prepare students how drive in bad weather situations and not to lose grip (control). The students are taught how to properly recover from both over-steer (rear wheel) and under-steer (front wheel) skids.

Three two-day sessions will be offered in Pomona, California (Feb 14-15), Gainesville, Florida (March 21-22) and in the Detroit, Michigan, area (May 2nd and 3rd) free of charge to registered teens and their parents and guardians.

Tickets to the Detroit area event  (May 2/3) are available here.