Mercedes-Benz announces teen driving school in the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 24, 2011

Mercedes-Benz USA will be teaching teenagers the skills and competencies for safe and enjoyable driving with an approach that’s specifically tailored to the U.S. environment. Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, which will make use of the best teaching methods from around the world, will begin this innovative curriculum-based program in late 2011.

This research-based approach is meant to enhance the effectiveness of time spent in the classroom, online, and behind-the-wheel. The expected result is that students will be prepared for today's driving environment by going beyond basic car control skills and rote learning of traffic rules.

According to research, the standard U.S. formula of 30-hour in-class education followed by 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training can’t be reasonably expected to mold a non-driver into a safe driver.

Alexander Hobbach, Senior Manager, Daimler AG, said that driver education is relatively unchanged in the U.S. even as there have been dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment during the last 60 years. He said that the skills needed to acquire a license don’t fully prepare young drivers to cope with the demands of the road.

Mercedes-Benz is aware of this issue and so this is why it is designing an educational program for the U.S. that is based on the best teaching methods and tools available.

To develop this curriculum, Mercedes-Benz has been working with international driver education experts. Since the launch of the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the U.K. for the first time in 2009, about 4,500 students have enrolled in the program. The program had a first-time pass rate of 79%, which is almost double the U.K. national average of 43%.

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