The BMW Teen Driving School 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.
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.