Glossary of Terms

Colorado Traffic Laws
Knowing traffic laws saves lives. Traffic laws vary state by state. We know the laws necessary to become a successful, legal driver in Colorado. In our classroom portion of our Driver’s Education courses we take the time to teach your student not only the skills to drive safely, but we also give them the information they need to drive LEGALLY.

Seat-Belt Use Research
Sixty percent of the nearly 42,000 people that died on America’s roadways last year were not buckled up. Only 17 states, and the District of Columbia, have standard enforcement laws. States with standard enforcement laws have a 17% greater seat-belt usage rate than those states that have not passed such laws. Research estimates that if every state upgraded to standard enforcement 2,064 lives would be saved each year, 49,400 injuries would be prevented, and the country would save 3.4 billion dollars annually….
(from http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/2002/020520.htm)

Defensive Driving Techniques
A defensive driver will be the driver that obeys the following:

  • Be careful as to not make any driving errors.
  • Watches for other drivers that may lack skill or have an improper attitude.
  • Does not become involved in an accident or a close call because of weather, road conditions, traffic, or the actions of pedestrians and other drivers.
  • Continually be alert for accident-producing situations in advance to take defensive action. Gives up the right of way to prevent an accident.
  • Give driving full attention. Dangerous distractions like talking to passengers or talking over the phone, adjusting a car stereo, or eating should be avoided.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Learn to drive in different situations like highway driving, night driving, or driving under various weather conditions.
  • Have knowledge about the emergency situations like skidding or tire blowout.
  • Obey the rules of the road.

(from http://www.cartipsandmore.com/defensive_driving_techniques.html)

Collision Avoidance
Accident rates among teenagers is higher than for any other age group. The Collision Avoidance portion of the Drive-Right Academy course gives your teen the tools they need to minimize that risk. A few statistics:

  • Persons between the ages of 16 and 21 years of age are more likely to die from car crashes than from all other causes of death.
  • The crash rate for 16-year olds is almost three times the rate of 18 year olds. Every year over 6,000 teenagers are killed in traffic crashes.
  • Around 20 people in the 15 to 20 year old age group die every day as a result of vehicle accidents.
  • Around 1900 people in the 15 to 20 year old age group are injured every day as a result of vehicle accidents.
  • Traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury and death for teenagers. We’ll teach your teen not only the skills they need to avoid factors that can cause an accident such as proper hand position and traffic laws, but also how to control their vehicle in an emergency or other difficult situation.

Drive-Right Academy collision avoidance course participants learn:

  • How to properly brake to stop in the shortest distance possible
  • How to regain control of their vehicle in the event of a skid
  • How to effectively swerve to avoid a collision
  • How to maintain control of their vehicle in winter driving conditions
  • Other safe driving techniques

Manual Transmission Use
Learning to drive is challenging enough. Driving a car equipped with a manual transmission, a “stick shift” adds a special challenge. For an additional $100 we’ll teach your teen the techniques necessary to safely and effectively operate a car with a manual transmission*. We’ll cover:

  • Proper use of the clutch to smoothly and safely shift gears
  • Maximizing power by properly up-shifting
  • Properly down-shifting for safe collision avoidance and slowing the vehicle

*Our manual transmission is a 2002 Lexus IS 300.

Threshold Braking
Once your car goes into a skid, the distance required to stop is greatly increased. Threshold Braking is a very valuable technique used to stop your car while keeping the tires turning. The force exerted on the brake is less than required to stop the tires and induce a skid, but enough to quickly stop the vehicle. Drive-Right Academy will explain the technique in the classroom portion of the Driver’s Education course, then your student will practice these skills on the driving range.

“Threshold braking or limit braking is a technique describing the maximal force that can be applied to a brake rotor before it takes the tire out of the static friction range and places it into the kinetic friction range. The technique is when mechanical braking causes the maximum deceleration of an automobile….”
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_braking)

Skid Avoidance/Recovery
Reduced traction occurs when road surfaces change, such as during raining or icy conditions. Reduced traction also occurs when there is excessive speed while going into a curve.

  • How do you avoid a skidding situation?
  • How do you get out of a skid?
  • How does a front-wheel drive car skid differently than a rear wheel drive car?
  • What are the three skid types?
  • How does skid recovery differ with ABS braking systems from non-ABS equipped cars?
    What is effective speed control?

The Skid Avoidance and Recovery portion of the Drive-Right Academy course will answer these questions and give your teen the skills necessary to avoid and/or recover from a skid and as a result, avoid an accident.

“Push-Pull” Techniques
In Push-Pull Steering: The hands grip the wheel on opposite sides at the same height, [9 and 3 hand positions]. The hands alternate the grip, moving up and down the wheel at the same height. One hand pulls the wheel down to the bottom where it meets the other hand at 6 o’clock position. Changing grips, the opposite hand pushes the wheel to the top where the hands touch at 12 o’clock, ready to change again for the pull down; etc. When the steering is turned to the desired amount, both hands hold the wheel opposite and at the same height as each other. To straighten the wheel, reverse the procedure. The last hand to ‘feed in’ is the first hand to ‘feed out’…..
(from http://linux.gatewaybbs.com.au/~dta/steering.html)

‘Push-Pull’ steering is favored for four main reasons:

  • It provides a better sitting position
  • It provides better grip
  • It is smoother
  • It is the most efficient method of steering

Snow & Winter Driving
In Colorado, winter weather presents special challenges to drivers. Properly preparing yourself for unexpected situations may be the action that saves your life – or the life of a family member.

Colorado weather can be quite unpredictable. There is an old adage that highlights this unpredictability: “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes. It’ll change.” Our weather can also vary dramatically from place to place. Sunny and dry in Denver may still mean blizzard conditions in Boulder. When traveling then, dry road conditions at your point of origin does not guarantee good road conditions at your destination – or anywhere in between.

Winter driving can be treacherous and drivers should be prepared for the worst. Statistics tell us that approximately 70% of winter deaths attributed to snow and ice involve motor vehicles….
(from http://www.co.boulder.co.us/transportation/traffic_safety/winter_driving.htm)

“Drunk” Goggles/DUI
One truly effective way of reinforcing the ‘don’t drink and drive’ message is by demonstrating just what it feels like – and how dangerous it is – to be drunk. And the best and easiest way of doing just that is with a pair of DIA Impairment Goggles.

These unique goggles simulate the effects of impairment, including reduced alertness, slowed reaction time, confusion, visual distortion, alteration of depth and distance perception, reduction of peripheral vision, poor judgment and decision making, double vision, and lack of muscular coordination…..
(from http://www.driving.org/ddgoggles.html)