Look at any statistics regarding vehicle accidents or traffic violations and there’s no question that a good deal of those result from young drivers. Over confidence, lack of awareness and inexperience can often be a dangerous mix.
That’s something that Mercedes-Benz is hoping to change, by launching it’s first ever driving academy in the U.S., later on this year. The purpose of the academy is to teach young drivers, especially teens on how to be better, safer motorists by using a combination of interactive classroom sessions, online learning and also practical driver training.
Mercedes-Benz says that it has adopted an innovative driver education program that reflects the best teaching methods from around the world, but tailored to meet US motorists.
According to Alexander Hobbach, a Senior Manager with Daimler AG; “despite the dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment over the past 60 years, driver education remains relatively unchanged in the U.S. The skills required to simply get a license do not fully prepare young drivers to meet the demands of the road. Mercedes-Benz recognizes this issue and as a result is creating an educational program for the U.S. that is based on the best teaching methods and tools available.”
In fact standard driver training in the US consists of just 30 hours of classroom learning and 6 hours of practical driving.
The US driving academy isn’t actually the first the company has opened; back in 2009 it launched a program in the UK. To date, more than 4500 students have enrolled in that program and the academy has achieved a pass rate among students of 79 percent, more than double the national average for first time driving tests in Britain.
Given that US teens are four times more likely to be involved in vehicle related accidents than older drivers (according to information released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), any auto manufacturer that looks for ways to improve driving standards should be lauded for their endeavors; it certainly makes a refreshing change from simply adding more and more driver aids to the vehicle, which can have the knock on effect of essentially reducing driver skill and responsibility in many cases.