Traffic-related crashes impact drivers of all ages. Post-license driving classes have emerged to equip drivers with higher level skills needed to prevent and avoid emergency situations. A performance driving center offers teenage and adult car control classes designed to address defensive driving skills through both classroom instruction and hands-on practice on a closed-road track. To obtain the views from teenagers and adults, both groups completed a survey immediately after their classes, and the adults completed a phone interview six months later. Results from the teenage and adult survey showed that both groups reported the most important topics learned during the car control class were skid recovery, using the antilock braking system (ABS) and looking where the car should go. Both teenagers and adults reported that they plan to significantly change their driving behaviors, especially those concerning seating, hand and mirror positions. Overall, after the class, the teenagers and adults felt “moderately competent” in their ability to perform the exercises practiced during the class, which increased from the rating of “not competent” prior to the class. The results from the phone interview with the adults suggest that ABS braking was the most important topic six months later. ABS braking was also the single-most reported skill used after the class and the self-identified skill most used to avoid a crash. The phone interview showed that the adults accurately predicted their use of the behaviors (seating position, vision, distractions, etc.) and turned those behaviors taught during the class into habits of their daily driving. Overall, the results from the teenage and adult survey, as well as the phone interview with the adults, suggest that the participants benefitted from the knowledge and skills gained from the one-day car control class.
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