SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Teenagers are getting behind the wheel with the experts before riding solo.
Lauryn Johnson is finally driving after a lot of hesitation from her mom.
“Oh i don’t believe you’re ready, you’re not ready take you’re not going to take your test. I don’t think you’re ready,” said Lawren Knight, Johnson’s mother.
So many parents with similar concerns, but when Lauryn’s permit expired, it was time.
“She had her permit for a whole year before I allowed her to take her test and make sure she was ready,” said Knight.
She passed her driver’s test on Thursday, but this class came highly recommended,
“Sitting in a class its boring…I think it’s more beneficial to come out here and be hands-on,” said Johnson.
It’s was a chance for new drivers to develop good habits and make smart decisions.
“If they can pick up these skills now it’s going to benefit them for a lifetime,” said CHP spokesperson Chad Hertzell.
Teenagers put on fatal vision goggles, seeing for themselves what it would be like if they were drunk. They even walk a line.
“They’re going over the lines and cones at 5-10 mph. Think how much worse it would be going at freeway speed,” said Hertzell.
They learn about reaction times and swerving. One of the growing concerns is access to smartphones and texting behind the wheel.
“Statistics show that most of them get in crashes shortly after they get their driver’s license or permit, so you want to get them young and show them skills and the proper way to do things,” said Jim Graham, manager of Ford Driving School for Life.
Now, Johnson feels more confident, and her mom is convinced this experience is just what she needed.
“I feel like I’m going to be a safe driver. I love it. I get to finally be free,” she said.
The Ford Driving Schools for Fife is an international program that was developed 13 years ago.