Young drivers and their parents put skills to the test at Operation Driver Excellence

Young drivers and parents got a chance to get behind the wheel and put their driving skills to the test on Saturday as part of Operation Driver Excellence, a 28th annual event hosted by the Department of Education.

The goal is to inform about the dangers of distracted driving and review other skills that even some experienced drivers could brush up on.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young drivers in the U.S.

On Saturday, those drivers and their parents were able to get behind the wheel in a controlled environment, and work on skills they’ll need to stay safe on the road.

For some parents there might have been some scary moments, but the definitely was all about education.

“I think it’s really important for us to teach kids didn’t early age so we can still have it’s in them so that they can use later on in their lives,” said Jon Muranaka with DTRIC Insurance.

The sponsors of the event say they want to make sure teens and parents weren’t afraid to use their brakes when necessary, even having drivers accelerate rapidly and slam on the breaks in a controlled environment.

Tatiana Marie Whitlow and her mother Chaya even took a KHON2 photographer for a ride.

“We only started for a month that’s why I’ve been holding onto the handle but I am a pretty good driver for the most part because I didn’t have anything we’re good so far,” said Tatiana.

A recent study by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control found over 2,000 young drivers in the U.S. were killed annually that means six young drivers are killed every day.

On top of that, over 240,000 were sent to the emergency room with injuries in motor vehicle crashes.

“We want the kids and the parents to come away with the experience of handling their own family vehicle behind the wheel,” said Jan Meeker-Sevilla with Operation Driver Excellence. “How does it feel to slam on the brakes and emergency, how does it feel to break in turn has it feel to avoid a collision and also with more knowledge on tires safety and let’s important to reinforce everything we teach in the classroom.”

In addition to the safe driving and distracted driving courses, the event also featured a course about the dangers of drunk driving, where participants put on “drunk goggles” and try to walk a straight line.

Young drivers also learned how to check their tire pressure along with other valuable driving skills. Ultimately coming away with valuable knowledge they can use on and off the road.

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