Teen Car Control Class teaches evasive maneuvering skills at CVTC

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Area teenage drivers got behind the wheel on Saturday to tackle a variety of challenging road conditions that could cause panic and potential crashes.

The Teen Car Control class at Chippewa Valley Technical College can only take up to 30 students with around 40 volunteers needed to help coach and monitor the track.

Teenage driver Spencer Rhoten said, “It's intense. It's really something else. It's completely different from regular driving and I'm really glad that I got to be able to handle it.”

Students between 16 and 19 years old took to a test track to become safer drivers by experiencing situations that could cause panic and over-correction possibly resulting in accidents.

The class is put on in-part by Mayo Clinic Health System. R.N. Kim Strasburg says the course advances a student's driving age by two to three years

Strasburg said, “If they find themselves on a road and they find themselves on the gravel off the shoulder and a teenager’s typical reaction is to over correct and as a result they often roll their vehicle so we teach them to remain call and slowly ease the car back onto the road.”

Students practiced evasive maneuvers in wet and dry conditions to gain the skills necessary to prevent panic in a real life situation.

Track coach Anthony Helstern said, “So, if you're ever in a situation where you need to do something or you need to get out of the way or you need to maneuver your car in a way that you're not normally trained you're better experienced in how to handle that and just feeling what that looks like.”

“The number one cause of a teenager crash is inexperience,” said Strasburg. “It's like learning to play a musical instrument the longer you do it the better you get at it. Driving is the exact same way.”

And Rhoten agrees saying the course gives him skills a traditional driving course isn’t able to.

“It's fun, it's important and I honestly would deem it necessary,” said Rhoten.

The course runs twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall.