Teens and parents learn defensive driving skills during Grand Haven class

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Parents in Grand Haven had the opportunity to learn alongside their teens during a class focusing on emergency preparation behind the wheel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of motor vehicle crashes among teens 16 to 19 is higher than any other age group.

B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School, a nonprofit organization, hosted a defensive driving course at Shape Corps in Grand Haven Sunday morning. Students were taught what to do in situations nobody hopes to be in but should be prepared for.

They learned about drop wheel recovery, car control and recovery, panic stops and distracted driving.

A defensive driving course hosted by B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School at Shape Corps in Grand Haven. (Sept. 26, 2021)

Director of training Travis Oldenburg says giving teens an opportunity to practice these situations in a controlled environment helps both the teens and their parents feel a bit better when faced with a split-second decision when on the open road.

“We’re trying to get them into that proactive mental process and understand that with these techniques, they work. You just trust the technique. But on top of that, we’re working with them on where you’re looking, how far you driving from vehicles, how long are you sitting at a stop sign before you enter the intersection,” Oldenburg said. “So, all of those little things like that build up and then you add experience because we train the parents as well. So we’ll take them out here and teach them so that way, they can coach their teen in the future when we’re done training them.”

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