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Driving Training this Weekend for Teens

DRIVING TRAINWESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Car accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths. This weekend, Berkshire and Hanover Insurance companies are sponsoring 40 Western Mass. teens taking part in a driving program called “In Control.”

Actual race car drivers will teach the teens new driving techniques.

Abc40′s Brittany Decker was in Westfield today to get her own lesson.

Behind the wheel we are all tested at one point or another and today she learned important life skills specifically how to actually handle a car in an emergency situation.

She was “In Control” with the crash prevention training program that uses different drills to familiarize drivers with extreme situations.

Driving Instructor Fred White says, “We do a braking drill, we do a slalom drill which is slaloming around cones that’s the steering exercise.  We do the emergency lane change, then we demonstrate and test following distance.”

Now put to the test distracted driving 101. The task was for Brittany to type her birthday in a calculator and slam on the breaks when the light on the dashboard came on.

White then says, “Ready? Alright.. go ahead and accelerate it. Speed up-coast, add.”

Lesson learned- do not text and drive.

Now research has shown that there is actually a 70% reduction in crashes for drivers that complete this program and insurance companies actually discount the graduates.

“10% discount off their insurance if they are the rated driver on the policy,” explains Francis Delage with Hanover Insurance Group.

“And with teenage drivers that’s a big amount of money.  That’s 10% off sometimes $2,000 or more,” adds Michael Smith who’s with the Berkshire Insurance Group.

While the experience will be fun for teens this weekend, the techniques learned can save a life.

“In Control” is a non-profit organization that has trained nearly 25,000 students.