Program to make teens safer drivers

May 3, 2013 2:46:30 PM PDT
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of death for teenagers in this country is not drugs nor alcohol, but car crashes.

Natasha Collova was lucky. She was driving for only a month when she rear-ended someone. It was a fender bender, but enough for her mother to take action.

"My stress today wasn't so good," Denise Collova said.

That's because on top of the accident, Natasha will be put through a driving boot camp of sorts. It's called drive safer.

"So they start out slow and you can literally see them doing it 3, 4, 5 times. You can see their confidence building. Their capabilities building and their skill sets building," Jason Friedman, CEO of Drive Safer, said.

Friedman started drive safer a few months ago. It costs about $200 for a 5 hour course. His goal is to train as many teens and as many people as possible.

Eyewitness News received an exclusive look at the curriculum.

I've been driving for almost 25 years and right off the bat learned a thing or two, so imagine what 17 year old Natasha was going to learn.

At first she was tentative with the fender bender still fresh in her mind, but after a few passes, her confidence level rose.

"It opened my eyes and it's just wow. I feel like it really helped me," Natasha Colluva said.

That's music to her mother's ears.

"She didn't learn this in school or in a textbook. It's hands on and I'd rather her be hands on here than on the road," she said.

Friedman says his number one goal is saving lives.

"We are going to do everything in our power to make that happen," he said.

The folks at drive safer target teens, but say everyone could benefit from this course. Their first major event in May 19th will be held in met life's parking lot. After that, when they get up to speed, they hope to be doing one a month.

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