GREENVILLE, S.C. (Oct. 8, 2009) — Mail order/Internet tire retailer Tire Rack has teamed up with former IndyCar driver and current ABC/ESPN racing commentator Scott Goodyear to help it promote this year's Tire Rack Street Survival, a national non-profit teen driving education program.
Tire Rack is teaming with BMW Car Club of America (BMWCCA) to stage the initiative, scheduled to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 18-24. The partners will set up schools in Mahwah, N.J., Byron, Ill., Richmond, Va., Forth Worth, Texas, Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis during that week.
“The goal of the Tire Rack Street Survival program is to save lives by teaching young drivers the basics of car control, to enhance their enjoyment of driving and to improve their overall competence as drivers,” Mr. Goodyear said.
“Inexperience behind the wheel, and more importantly a lack of proper training, is the No. 1 cause of fatal accidents among teens in this country,” he said, “and I am proud to be part of the Tire Rack Street Survival program.”
A Tire Rack spokeswoman said Mr. Goodyear volunteered to help with the project after his son took the driving course.
Tire Rack Street Survival is designed to improve driver competence through hands-on experiences in real-world driving situations, Tire Rack said. Students learn emergency braking and skid control in wet and dry conditions, how to correct unintended oversteer and understeer situations, how to avoid accidents entirely and learn how to control their vehicle, rather than just operate it.
“We're working to make the roads safer for everyone,” said Bill Wade, Tire Rack Street Survival national program manager. “Although it's a year-round problem, National Teen Driver Safety Week is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness and educate parents and teens to the importance of learning proper car control. Few teens realize driving is one of the most dangerous things they can do.”
Congress enacted National Teen Driver Safety Week in 2007 to address the epidemic of teen driving deaths. Each year more than 5,000 youths ages 16-20 die, and more than 400,000 are injured behind the wheel. On average, one teen per hour is killed every weekend, and once every two hours during the week.
To kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week, Mr, Goodyear will share his expertise and knowledge as a professional driver with teen drivers enrolled in the Mahwah and Indianapolis schools, Tire Rack said.
“With more than 25 years' experience racing at 230 mph, I understand how important it is to be in complete control whenever the car is moving,” Mr. Goodyear said. “After seeing my son successfully avoid an accident after executing a maneuver he learned from Tire Rack Street Survival instructors, I knew I needed to become involved.”
Tire Rack Street Survival classes are conducted by local member volunteers from regional chapters of BMWCCA, the Sports Car Club of America and other car clubs, Tire Rack said.
Students, driving their own vehicles, are supervised at all times by experienced, knowledgeable driving coaches. In 2008, 72 communities signed up to benefit 1,555 students.
Fifty-four schools have been completed for 2009 and another 22 are open for registration. Community leaders or concerned parents interested in requesting a Tire Rack Street Survival school for their community can visit www.streetsurvival.org or call 502.649.4871.
“Communities that participate in National Teen Driver Safety Week become part of the solution and the experienced, volunteer coaches who understand car control and work individually with each driver are fulfilling their responsibility,” said Tire Rack Vice President Matt Edmonds. “I urge parents to take an active role in educating their young drivers and preserving our future and most precious resource: our youth.”