WJTV News Channel 12 - Street Survival course helps teens drivers in Roanoke Valley

Street Survival course helps teens drivers in Roanoke Valley

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SALEM, VA -

Slipping, sliding, and stopping on a dime. Dozens of teen drivers across the Roanoke Valley and southwest Virginia spent their Saturday tearing up the asphalt behind the Salem Civic Center.

"I think it will definitely help me when I'm turning in wet situations. I'll be able to control the car better," said Katie Farley, a teen driver.

"She's really learning a lot of good skills that are important for any driver, but especially young drivers because they don't have much experience," said Jackie Farley, a mother.

The "Street Survival" course tested teenagers on some of the most common problem areas, which are braking, driving in wet conditions, and avoiding collisions. An instructor was seated next to each driver.

"We test them in accident avoidance here so that when they're driving down Interstate 581 and something falls off a vehicle they need to swerve at 60 miles an hour, they know how to recover the vehicle," said Bill Hume, an instructor.

The course included an airbag demonstration and the chance to see the road from the front seat of a big rig. There are so few of these courses here in the Commonwealth that today there were teen drivers who showed up all the way from Richmond. Organizers say they hope to steer the event to southwest Virginia several times each year to help teen drivers.

"This is definitely, extremely useful for me. I've never been in this kind of situation before. I don't even have my license yet," said Thomas Breakell.

"I have another child right behind her and I'm going to sign him up the very next chance that they open this up," said Farley.

So what was a fun day behind the wheel for these kids, organizers hope will help them when it matters most.

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