Driver Ed Messages Now Include No Texting

6:42 PM, Dec 9, 2010   |    comments
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Knoxville, TN -- These days drivers education classes go beyond turn signals, speed limits, and parallel parking to address distracted driving.

"Our goal is to teach them how to be safe, confident, courteous drivers," Drive 4 Life Academy instructor and owner Greg Mangan said.

During a 36 hour course, students at Drive 4 Life Academy cover all aspects of driving.

One assignment Mangan gives students is they must come up with 20 inside the car distractions and 20 outside the car distractions.

"We compile a huge master list and we might have 35 things inside the car that people do instead of driving the car," he said.

Student Renee Stafford volunteered her top distraction: "I know for me I'm a big texter."

"The texters, they think they can successfully drive and text, but they can't," Mangan said.

Texting requires hands, eyes, and mind. Those are the same things drivers need to use while behind the wheel.

"Mere mortals like us? We can't do it. We can't text, we can't change our clothes, we can't hold hands, we can't read the newspaper, we can't look at a GPS and drive the car. There's a lot more going on than just cell phone and texting," Mangan said.

On the last day of the driving course, students were ready to take the lessons learned in the classroom on the road.

"For me, I'm not going to be texting and driving. If I have to make a phone call I will probably pull over on the side of the road," Stafford said.

Drivers learn they need to focus on driving.

"When we're driving the car, we need to drive the car," Mangan said. "That's what we teach them. Drive the car. Period. Drive the car."


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