Young drivers learn defensive skills |

Young drivers learn defensive skills

Staff reports

A nationally recognized young-driver training program will be in Reno today through Sunday to teach new drivers basic defensive-driving skills at no cost to participants.

Founded by professional race car driver Jeff Payne, Driver’s Edge is a free half-day program that gives young drivers a behind-the-wheel opportunity to learn collision avoidance techniques in a safe environment, including exercises in skid control, evasive lane change maneuvers, anti-lock braking skills and panic braking technique.

The Driver’s Edge program in the Reno area was made possible by a grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen said there is a need for advanced training because the statistics for Nevada’s young drivers are staggering:

• Nevada drivers aged 18 to 24 are 20 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than the average driver.

• Nevada young drivers make up only 7 percent of the number of total drivers but account for 25 percent of all auto collisions.

• Nevada young drivers account for 20 percent of vehicle passenger deaths.

• Nearly 23 young drivers are killed every day in the United States due to automobile crashes. To date, over 25,000 young drivers and their parents have attended a Driver’s Edge program.

A total of 30,000 young people are expected to attend by the end of this year.

If you go

WHAT: Driver’s Edge

WHEN: Today through Sunday with two sessions each day: at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

WHERE: Washoe County Regional Training Facility, 5190 Spectrum Blvd., Reno.

WHO: Drivers age 15 to 21 with a valid learner’s

permit or

license may register at 1-877-633-EDGE or