BMW Teen Driving School (BMW TDS)
The BMW Teen Driving School (BMW TDS) is a grassroots initiative under the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility program combining teens, road safety and local community outreach. It is a recent extension of the teen curriculum taught at the BMW Performance Center located in Spartanburg, SC. The driving school travels to locations nationwide and is offered to teenagers and young drivers at no cost. Eligible drivers, ages 15-21, must possess a valid learner's permit or driver’s license to register for the school.
Teens and Driving Accident Statistics (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):
- About 300,000 young drivers are injured in car crashes each year.
- Traffic crashes are the single, greatest cause of death among teenagers in the U.S., accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group.
- Nearly 45,000 people die in car crashes annually – 6,000 to 8,000 fatalities under the age of 25.
- Sixteen year olds have higher collision rates than drivers of any other age as they underestimate dangerous situations or are not able to recognize hazardous situations.
At BMW’s TDS, teenagers improve their driving skills and increase their road knowledge through classroom instruction, driver awareness activities and hands-on driving exercises. As a result, they become safer, more informed drivers.
The goals of the road safety program include:
- Raising awareness about the risks and dangers of driving.
- Helping young, impressionable drivers develop lifelong safety habits.
- Preparing teens to handle unexpected driving hazards in the safest way possible.
People of all ages can benefit from learning to be safer drivers. Parents are encouraged to join their sons and daughters to share the experience together at the BMW TDS. They can reinforce the insights and techniques learned from the program to their teens long after it’s over.
In a controlled environment, teens get behind the wheel of a new BMW 3 Series and experience a wide range of driving conditions. BMW driving instructors are in the vehicle with the teens giving immediate feedback on safety precautions and vehicle handling corrections as students respond to real-world scenarios.
- Skid Control
Using 30-foot square pads soaked in soapy water, students attempt to lose control of the vehicle at a low speed in order to practice techniques to recover from a slide.
- Car Control
Learning vehicle dynamics help drivers safely maintain control of their car at all times and experience the importance of patience in the process of managing the load transfer of the vehicle.
- Accident Avoidance
Maneuvering vehicles through a series of courses simulating real-life road conditions, students learn what best to do in the event of an unexpected hazard.
Teens learn effective ways to handle unexpected braking and panic stops before an accident occurs.
- Target Fixation
BMW driving instructors teach students to focus on where the vehicle needs to be rather than on the object they are trying to avoid.
Driver Awareness Activities
Driver awareness activities are important because most teens won’t have the opportunity to experience these up close – visually learning valuable lessons on proper seat positioning, airbag safety tips and how to avoid the risk of driving next to a semi-truck.
- Airbag Deployment Demonstration
A BMW airbag is released outside so students can see the impact behind it. Teens learn proper seat positioning and airbag safety tips.
- Trucker Blind Spot Demonstration
Vehicles are positioned on the sides of a semi-truck. Students climb into the cab and using both side mirrors, observe blind spots from a trucker’s perspective and learn how to avoid them.
Makin’ it Real: Dangers of Texting while Driving
At BMW’s TDS, students learn texting while driving is one of the most dangerous actions a person can do behind the wheel through a combination of classroom instruction, a driver awareness demonstration and an all-new campaign geared to reinforce the DRIVE IT HOME - DON’T TXT & DRIVE message.
Teens and Texting Accident Statistics (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- Eighty-seven percent of teen drivers admit to texting behind the wheel.
- A person’s brain capacity is diminished 18 percent when you are on the phone or trying to text.
- Texting while driving reduces one’s reaction time at a level equivalent to having a blood-alcohol level of .08.
- It takes approximately five seconds to read or send a text message. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes off the road.
This session creates awareness about the consequences of this behavior affecting not only teens – but everyone who drives a vehicle.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 336 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 99 MINI passenger car dealers, and 31 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the internet at:
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Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group PressClub at the following address: www.press.bmwna.com. Additional information, images and video may be found at www.bmwgroupusanews.com. Broadcast quality video footage is available via The NewsMarket at www.thenewsmarket.com.
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