LANSING, MI – To date (June 30th, 2015) the number of reported fatalities statewide is 398, an increase of 32 from last week. In addition, 1,934 serious injuries have occurred on roadways statewide, an increase of 54.
MSP offers teen defensive driving courses
(Source Safety Network,June 2015)
As we work to reduce the number of injuries and traffic crashes on the state’s roads, a large part of our focus is on our most inexperienced drivers: teens.
As you are likely aware, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers. Per mile driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers age 20 and older to be in a fatal crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
TEEN MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES ARE PREVENTABLE.
That’s why the MSP Precision Driving Unit offers teen defensive driving classes, at designated periods throughout the year, designed to teach young drivers strategies and techniques to enhance their driving behavior to reduce their risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.
The course, which requires teens to have a Graduated Driver License Level 2, includes one hour of classroom training and seven hours of hands-on training with a focus on defensive driving, skid control, controlled braking, and distracted driving.
The training teaches students defensive driving techniques that prepare them for how to respond both mentally and physically to differing driving situations. All of the exercises are conducted in MSP patrol vehicles on the MSP Precision Driving Unit drive track with specially trained driving instructors.
To respond to the demand and need for this course, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning provided federal grant funds that allowed the MSP to offer eight additional courses last fall and this spring. Nearly 300 teen drivers a year now complete the defensive driving course offered by the MSP.
As traffic safety professionals, we know motorist behavior is changed by education and awareness. Through efforts like the MSP teen defensive driving course, the state’s three-stage Graduated Driver Licensing system and other safeguards to promote safe driving behaviors, I’m confident we are saving lives every day by equipping teen drivers with the skills they need to be responsible drivers.
To learn more about the MSP Precision Driving Unit, visit www.michigan.gov/pdu.
Stay Safe. Drive Smart.
The mission is to move Toward Zero Deaths on Michigan Roadways. The statewide interim goal is to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all roadways from 889 and 5,706 respectively in 2011 to 750 and 4,800 in 2016.