Teaching with Team Safety
Besides teaching the HPDE1 class for the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) one of the most enjoyable things I do is volunteer with Team Safety Driving School. Here is a little bit of a write up I did for another parent that was considering sending their kid through the course.
Note a typical day will see the Students start driving at about 8:00am and will drive all day until about 4:00p.
The course starts out with them driving slowly through a slalom course and gradually picking up speed. This mimics them changing lanes with the higher speed runs to make them confident they can do so in an emergency situation on the Freeway if they had to serve to avoid something.
Then we move into braking exercises. They accelerate up to around 45-50 mph and then use 100% braking (without locking up or getting into ABS) to bring the car to a stop without hitting some cones. This is followed by having them use 50% of the traction of the tires to slow down while using the other 50% of the traction avoiding an obstacle (cone) placed in front of them. Then we have them use greater than 100% braking ability by engaging the ABS under braking while maneuvering around the obstacle.
At the start and conclusion of their runs on course we have a “box” of cones setup that they bring the vehicle to a stop in and they need to stop centered in that box to get them comfortable with the size and shape of their vehicle.
At the end of the day we have the parents get in the car with their child to go for a ride along as they perform the maneuvers they learned that day. Parents can either drop off their child (with the vehicle they will be driving) or they can stay and observe. We have chairs to sit on and canopies to sit under. Plenty of water and lunch is provided”
Here is a video I shot with one of the students on her first run through the course after we introduced the 100% braking portions. We drive them through the course 1-2 times to show them what we want them to work on then move to the passenger seat for 1-2 runs as they drive. Once we are sure they understand and are able to perform the task we get out of the car to let them practice independently. When they reach the stop box at the end of the run we will offer some constructive critiques and then send them back out.