SCCA racers are vastly better than average when it comes to car control (and having fun with cars). Many of you instruct at HPDE's and race schools. As satisfying as it is for an instructor to get someone who has never been on track before up to speed or help find that half a second improvement to a long time “track rat,” a good number of racers have found a great way to “pay forward” their car control skills is by training teens in car control fundamentals -- skills that can save a young driver from what may otherwise be a terrible accident.
The leading cause of death to Americans, ages 16 – 19, is auto-related accidents. Further, 20% of deaths among vehicle passengers of all ages occur while a teenager is driving. Tire Rack Street Survival (TRSS) program is outstanding at helping transfer knowledge to the “good kid,” who finds himself in a driving emergency, so he can come out of it alive, preferably avoiding an accident altogether. TRSS is the largest, non-profit, hands-on teen defensive driving program in the country.
Since 2008, Oregon Region SCCA, working with Oregon Region Porsche Club of America, has sanctioned 18 TRSS events at Portland International Raceway. That’s nearly 600 young area drivers who have gained hands-on defensive driver training. SCCA sanctions our Street Survival events – providing us with insurance coverage – while Tire Rack has been the amazing primary sponsor of Street Survival. Sponsorship from Michelin Tire and Enterprise Rental Car help hold costs down to $75 per student.
There’s an expression, “Givers Gain,” or stated differently, we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. I guarantee you, “Givers Gain” holds true when you see the teen driver who going in to class has no clue how to correct a skid, has never practiced maintaining control of his vehicle during an evasive driving maneuver, and really doesn’t know how to use ABS the way it was intended – suddenly has that light bulb go off and they gain new, real world applicable driving skills.
For the past several years, our TRSS events have sold out quickly. I strongly encourage you to volunteer at our sold-out March 12th TRSS event. We have Will, Tim, Allie, Rich, Joe Blair, and Peter Lovejoy (former SM racers) already signed up to instruct. Ken's response must be stuck in his outbox :-) because he's a regular instructor too. Looking through this mailing list, there are about another 10 of you who have instructed ... some of you, several times over. We could use about 8 more instructors for March 12th .
Note: student drive their own cars. All driving takes place in the North Paddock of PIR. There is no use of helmets or special safety equipment, as the idea is to show kids how to respond to an emergency in the course of their normal driving. Important to note: we do not reference racing or building speed beyond that set mph specified for a driving exercise. Finally, there is a short on-line instructor certification class for any new instructors. Karen McCoy can send you the link and I can send you some material on the driving exercises when you volunteer. Also, there’s a swell yellow golf shirt for you – just need to know your shirt size. Please hit me up with any questions. Thank you!