A teen’s perspective | BMW Teen Driving School

A teen’s perspective | BMW Teen Driving School

BY Peter St. Amand, Guest Teen Driver Contributor

PeterStAmandHi. I’m Peter–a 17-year-old teenager who has a year or two of driving experience under my belt. I consider myself to be a pretty good driver; thankfully, I have never had a life-threatening accident–a moment where my life flashes before me. But as a novice driver there is always more to learn behind the wheel.

Attending the BMW Teen Driving School has changed my driving habits significantly, especially concerning texting and driving, or being distracted in general while driving.

Lessons of a 17-year-old from the BMW Teen Driving School

The BMW Teen Driving School was an amazing experience. The woman instructor who led our class encouraged us teenagers drive like wild animals (obviously it was on a closed course). Several instructors drove the teen group around to the three stations, where we could experience difference driving scenarios.

BMW Teen Driving School DC

My favorite station had to be the wet course, where I had to catch the wheel and prevent the BMW I was driving from spinning out on a huge soap-and-water-covered plastic mat. I was too shy in my first attempt (I didn’t even turn enough to spin out, I just drove straight through!). But the next two attempts, I executed the slide and recovery perfectly.

IMG_6778My least favorite station was the emergency lane change. I failed so badly my first two attempts. It’s a good thing I wasn’t in live traffic because I surely would have ended up in an accident. The fun part of that station, however, was when we practiced the danger of texting and driving. I texted my mother (yes, while driving — on a closed course) that I was texting and driving. It wasn’t long before I received a concerning text in response. We were good after an explanation though!

Overall, the entire experience was a fantastic success; it changed my views about my driving habits! The entire BMW staff was very nice and knew what they were talking about at all times.

I learned how to be a better driver on the road in dangerous, cautious and unexpected situations.

Also, I gained much more confidence as a driver. I now feel more prepared for various challenging situations while out in the road. Thanks to BMW, this experience has changed my driving habits significantly, especially concerning texting and driving, or being distracted in general while driving.

Peter BMW experience

Tips for other teen drivers

Advice I would share with my peers?

Texting and driving: just don’t do it. To put it simply–it is never worth risking an accident or one’s life due to a fatal crash; whatever anyone has to say to you, or what you have to respond to them, can always wait.

The best driving tip I learned from the BMW Teen Driving School was that the driver should look at where they are intending to accelerate toward during an emergency situation. For example, if hydroplaning in heavy rain or slipping on ice in the wintertime. Otherwise, a driver might spin way out of control or crash because they have no set direction to safety.

Overall, I had a great time at the event and would definitely recommend other teenage drivers participate in the BMW Teen Driving School. You can find events in your area for the rest of the year at their website.

BMW UDE sign

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.