Tire Rack Street Survival
What is Street Survival?
It’s a car control clinic for teens. Car crashes (don’t call them “accidents” – most car crashes are entirely avoidable) are one of the leading causes of death for teens in the U.S. Street Survival’s goal is to teach teen drivers the car control skills, and more importantly, the situational awareness and judgement to keep them safe. One of my favorite Street Survival quotes is “it’s about more than driving; it’s about living”.
What does Street Survival consist of?
It’s a combination of classroom knowledge and in-car exercises in a controlled environment, typically a large parking lot rented for the event. We teach applied physics: vehicle dynamics, weight transfer, transitions, recovery from understeer and oversteer. We teach transformative skills such as looking ahead, thinking ahead, anticipating, and the importance of refusing distractions, like texting, while driving. Try maneuvering around the skid pad while answering your smart phone: it can’t be done well.
All in-car exercises include in-car coaches, most of whom come from the autocross and HPDE (High Performance Driving Experience) communities. Students drive their own cars, since their own cars are what they need to learn to control. The morning exercises consist of learning ABS braking and braking while turning, recovery from understeer on the skidpad, and managing weight transfer / vehicle transitions in a slalom. The afternoon exercises consist of emergency lane change maneuvers, more skidpad practice and a mini course (don’t call it autocross!) that combines all the skills the students have learned.
When the students arrive in the morning, the look on their faces says “my parents dragged me out of bed at 6am to come to this thing.” By the end of the day, they’re saying “wow, this blows Drivers’ Ed away!” One of the most gratifying experiences for a Street Survival coach, volunteer, or organizer is seeing the smiles on our students’ faces as they begin having those light bulb, epiphany moments, learning to better control their cars. Parents send feedback to TRSS all the time expressing how the clinic transformed their teenagers’ driving and started them on the road to becoming more confident, more competent drivers.
Street Survival – Jack Raymond – email@example.com