The online publication Ars Technica is perhaps best known for covering innovation and the tech industry. But recently, Ars Technica writer Jonathan M. Gitlin looked at another innovative development, the Tire Rack Street Survival program.
“At the risk of an overgeneralization, perhaps the biggest difference between the Street Survival school and your typical driver's ed class is the instructors. I don't know about you (and to be fair I learned to drive on a different continent), but I wouldn't have said my own driving instructor was an enthusiast. But the instructors at Street Survival are definitely into driving,” Gitlin wrote in a recent Ars Technica article. “You don't have to squint to see the need for programs like these. More than 37,000 people die on US roads each year, and drivers under the age of 25 are well represented in the annual tabulations. But the data is more complicated than that, and road deaths among young drivers have actually been on the decrease compared to a 29-percent year-on-year increase in fatal crashes involving drivers over the age of 65. Getting our elderly drivers to go to a car-control clinic would probably be a brilliant idea, too, but it's easier to get 'em while they're young … .”
Since its very first class in 2002, the Tire Rack Street Survival program has educated more than 21,000 young drivers about the maintenance needs of their vehicles and the maneuvers that will keep them safe in emergency situations. Each Tire Rack Street Survival class teaches licensed drivers between the ages of 15 and 21 important, potentially life-saving skills such as how to maneuver through a skid and how to avoid distractions while driving. In many classes, students get to sit behind the wheel of a semi-truck to experience the vehicle’s significant blind spots for themselves. Because students use their own vehicles during the program, they also learn how to check the air pressure of their tires, check the oil level and perform other routine maintenance to understand the responsibility that comes with driving their vehicle.
Tire Rack Street Survival schools are facilitated by chapters of the Sports Car Club of America, BMW Car Clubs of America and Canada, Porsche Club of America, Audi Club of North America, the National Corvette Museum and other auto enthusiast clubs where a trained volunteer instructor base can be utilized. For more information and a schedule of upcoming Tire Rack Street Survival® classes taking place in various locations across the country, visit www.streetsurvival.org.