tieku001 发表于 2015-11-30 16:45

Advanced driver training just the ticket for this 17-year-old girl

Advanced driver training just the ticket for this 17-year-old girl
Sarah Johnston just turned 17. She got her G1 within days of her birthday last year and driving, as it is for many teens, has been at the top of her wish list.Although she’s completed a driver training course along with many of her peers, it’s going to take more wheel time before she’s ready for the next stage of her licencing.Enter advanced driver training.Who benefits from advanced driver training courses?More: Learning to see the world at 120 km/hEveryone, actually. If you’re a seasoned driver who knows it all, a day learning from the perspective of the pros will show you bad habits you may have formed without realizing it, as well as changes in technology that can really create a whole new way to treat your car.For new drivers, it’s a chance to create good driving habits before bad ones can form, and to provide a forum to ask questions and replicate dangerous situations they might encounter years down the road — or tomorrow.Parents of teenagers are often left debating the best way to select driver training.Although well intentioned, teaching your own kids is usually a recipe for disaster. Driver training is a complex skill and while you certainly can — and should — practice with them, you risk handing down your own biases and habits if you teach them.Being too close to your kids (“You’re braking way too late, just like you never put your laundry away. Will you just listen to me?”) is also a problem.And forget how nervous they’re making you. Kids are often far more anxious with Mom or Dad in the passenger seat than with anyone else.With this in mind, I arranged to take Sarah, a friend’s daughter, for a day of advanced driving training. Sarah herself told me she knew she needed something beyond the training she’d had, as her mother solemnly nodded nearby.We took a new Mazda 3 for the day, I knew the size would be perfect and the handling would be excellent for the proposed course. Sarah just loved the car.Sweetie Girl Racing, owned and run by Anna He, is a little different than other training courses. The venue, Toronto Motorsports Park near Cayuga, is a bit off the beaten path but offers up an actual race track.The morning session features a slalom course, accident-avoidance techniques and sudden stopping manoeuvres. In the afternoon, the students get to do all those things again — at speed.Why would you encourage a driver to speed? Speed can be intimidating for new drivers (yet they are legally free to hit our busy highways with little experience).What you’re really doing is teaching them to handle the car in extreme situations, and most important, you are teaching them good vision. Moving around a twisting, turning track forces you to understand the importance of looking ahead.Funnily enough, it’s often the rapid stopping exercises that teach a young driver — and many others — the most about their car.Sarah listened intently as Anna explained how the ABS works: the brakes rapidly pulse so you can maintain steering control as the car is brought to a stop. The trick is to keep full pressure on the brakes and resist the urge to let up when you feel the brakes pulsing.In a closed setting with an instructor, Sarah was able to get the car up to about 70 km/h and then bring it to a fast, immediate stop. By the third run –through, she was happily standing on the brakes, confident in the control she could maintain.Sweetie Girl Racing’s goal is to eventually have a field of all-female instructors. They are traditionally outnumbered by their male counterparts, but the rapport Anna developed with Sarah was instant. Good instruction is genderless, but when a student is being asked to perform outside their comfort zone, trust is essential.“I looooooooove working with Anna,” says Sarah. “Her voice is so calm, even when I got over my head on the track.” That calm voice is common to all good instructors; less so to many parents.As we drove back through the late afternoon sun in this beautiful rural area south of Hamilton, a flash went through my head.I think I’ll take Sarah back to TMP when it’s under snow. Advanced winter driving in this country is just as important, if not more, than the day we just spent.www.lorraineonline.caDriving SchoolsSweetie Girl Racing offers a one day advanced driver training program for $349.95 + HST. Contact www.sweetiegirlracing.comIan Law Racing in Brampton offers a one day training session for $350 + HST (Family rates available). Contact (905) 473-9500 or at www.carcontrolschool.comThe Skid Control School in Oakville offers a full day course in extended driver training for $399 + HST. Contact (905) 827-5413 or www.skidcontrolschool.comIn Mississauga, Drive For Life offers a Novice Training Program using a simulator for $349 +HST for several sessions. Contact (905) 822-0111, or www.driveforlife.caBMW Canada operates a one day session out at Downsview Park for $595 + GST. For this one, you get to use their cars. www.bmw.ca or (866) 226-9723In Port Perry, Powell Motorsport offers a day-long course for $395 + GST. Reach them at www.powellmotorsport.com or (905) 985-1600Check your local area for advanced training schools, and contact your insurance company for further information on those programs that may lower your insurance costs— Lorraine Sommerfeld

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