Nine local students were selected as winners in SAFE Delaware’s recent teen driver challenge.
The competition was sponsored by the Delaware County Juvenile Court and SAFE Delaware and involved students taking part in driver’s training to teach them car control techniques so they can better handle emergency situations like last-second lane changes or wet braking. After the trainings, students entered the contest by making a video about their experiences.
SAFE Delaware Coordinator Jackie Bain said 89 county students participated in the training, and the nine winners received gas cards from Sheetz.
The winners are Hayes High School student Madelynn Barnthouse; Buckeye Valley students Michael Riley, Briannon Pfeiffer and Brooklyn Pfeiffer; Olentangy Liberty High School students Sadie Okonak, David Jenkins and Allison Jenkins; Olentangy Orange High School student Angelena Greene; and Westerville Central High School student Casey Ingram.
Their winning videos can be viewed by accessing the “Car Control Drills” activity on the Reduce Teen Crashes portal at https://reduceohcrashes.com/activities/car-control-drills-program.
In the videos, students highlight their overall opinions of the training course and what they learned.
“I think this program definitely did improve my driving,” Brooklyn Pfeiffer said in her video. “In the car, I am definitely more aware of all the aspects like wet roads or other drivers than I was before I took this program … I would recommend this class to my friends. I think some of the stuff taught in the class was very surprising. I thought I didn’t need this class but I actually did think that it was helpful, and it’s important for everyone driving to learn about this stuff.”
Kenkins said in his video that he enjoyed taking part in the exercises and recommended the course.
“It was fun doing the different exercises,” Jenkins said. “I would 100% recommend this to my friends because it’s important that everyone goes out and is prepared for situations that they don’t come across on a day-to-day basis.”
Bain said that she interviewed all the students after the class, and the students’ comments were all positive.
“Some of the teens were less than thrilled to be there early on a weekend day as we signed them in, but all commented after that they were so glad that they came,” Bain said. “Most of them had not expected it to be so much fun to learn such serious skills. I cannot say enough about how valuable it is for new drivers to learn these driving skills that they won’t have time to think about when faced with the unexpected on the road. Just witnessing the improved confidence of both the teen drivers and their parents at the end of the day was so rewarding.”
Bain said she hopes to offer the advanced driver training again in the future and would like to see it become standard for all new drivers.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.