KEARNEY – The Nebraska Safety Center is hosting a free clinic for teenage drivers.
Participants will learn advanced driving skills while working with professional instructors in a controlled and safe environment during the Ford Driving Skills for Life event scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 13 at the Nebraska Safety Center driving range, 1801 N. Railroad St. in Kearney.
Funded by a grant from the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office, the clinic includes hands-on training and activities designed to improve young drivers’ skills behind the wheel and reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
“Participants will navigate challenging road courses on our controlled driving range that allow them to experience firsthand the effects of impaired and distracted driving,” said Erin Howard, transportation safety manager at the Nebraska Safety Center, which is part of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The clinic features a variety of stations led by trained driver education instructors, including a course where participants wear “impairment goggles” and a session that focuses on dangers such as texting while driving. The Simulated Impaired Driving Experience vehicle, a custom-built electric cart, allows participants to experience the effects of impaired or distracted driving, such as loss of control, erratic acceleration and braking, delayed response and lane shifts.
Other areas of focus include how to safely operate a vehicle around pedestrians and school buses and the lifesaving value of seat belts.
The driving clinic is open to youths ages 16 to 18 with a valid operator’s license and parental permission. Lunch will be provided for participants, who receive a certificate after completing the course.
The event is free, but advance registration is required by visiting www.unk.edu/dred
For more information, contact Howard or DeAnn Keith at 308-865-8256.
School groups that participate in the event and submit a presentation by May 10 are eligible for prizes of $500, $1,000 and $2,500 for first, second and third places in a judged contest.