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Chippewa Valley students experience dangerous driving scenarios as learning experience

Chippewa Valley (WQOW) — A car safety course was offered Saturday at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Trauma Program Manager at the Eau Claire Mayo Clinic, Wayne Street, said that the purpose of the event was to give teenagers driving experience and to share with them the best ways to respond and react in an emergency.

“What we were finding in our emergency department is that these young kids, they weren’t drinking and driving and they weren’t messing around, they were just inexperienced and they were crashing their cars and they had these horrific preventable injuries,” said Street.

The class consisted of three elements: a classroom lecture about car dynamics, driving through different obstacles on a closed track, and ended with insight from State Patrol officers.

The students were able to drive with an instructor through different emergency scenarios, such as how to react to hydroplaning and how to handle swerving off of the road.

“I think it’s just teaching students how to safely handle the conditions they’re involved in without panicking and using their surroundings to their advantage and managing it helpfully,” said student Josie Harvey of Chippewa Falls.

The class does not replace drivers ed, but is important in helping teenagers understand the fundamentals of car control.

Organizers said that they hope to spread the word about the class to keep our teen drivers safe.

Carly Swisher

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