Getting an Edge in Driving

Abigail Davis

Abigail Davis, Campus Life Editor

Being able to drive is a huge milestone in a high schooler’s life. But with no formal driver’s education program available at Shadow Ridge, it’s sometimes difficult for students to prepare for driving. This is true especially in emergency situations such as avoiding objects in the road or driving on wet roads. However, a free program called Driver’s Edge is an option for student drivers that puts them with professional performance driving instructors and professional race car drivers to guide them through driving exercises.

Hailey Morrow, sophomore, who attended the program in October of last year, explains, “Driver’s Edge is a non-profit organization to help teach young drivers what is not taught in driver’s ed. It’s a fun and interactive class at the Speedway where you are put in real life situations that aren’t commonly used. By taking this class, you will feel safer and more prepared to hit the road!”

Students are taught through a combination of behind the wheel and classroom experiences in this half day program. They receive instruction on evasive lane change maneuvers, panic braking, skid control, local law enforcement, and car care. Students also go through ABS braking exercises.

“My favorite event at Driver’s Edge was the skidding prevention class,” Morrow says, “This was a class where you got going up to 45 mph in a wet parking lot, and then pulled the car out of the skid in order to prevent yourself from skidding across the parking lot! It took a few times to get the hang of it, but it was so much fun!”

This is one of the many fun and educational experiences that students participate in throughout the day. Each class provides valuable insight and keeps the students engaged.

Deven Ritchie, sophomore, states, “I think the most valuable thing I learned at Driver’s Edge is how to avoid things on the road that shouldn’t be on it.”

Mason Williams, junior, shares, “I learned how to get where you are going when faced with many types of obstacles.”

Morrow expresses, “The most valuable thing that I learned at Driver’s Edge was to always look where you want to go! When you’re driving, you look up ahead to help you stay on the road. This helps a lot on turning! I also learned to be confident in everything you do while driving. If you are ever timid, you are more likely to make a mistake.”

Driver’s Edge is for students with any amount of experience. Ritchie had only received his learner’s permit two months prior to attending Driver’s Edge. Parents are strongly encouraged to accompany their children and learn almost as much as their students, if not more. This happens without the parents actually being behind the wheel, and with their years of driving experience. This goes to show that everyone is able to improve their driving.

Ritchie remarks, “Driver’s Edge has improved my driving by teaching me important driving skills like how to avoid an object in the road, how to regain control of a car if it starts sliding, and how to stop suddenly.”

Williams adds, “Now I know how to handle dangerous situations and things I should look for while driving.”

Morrow comments, “Driver’s Edge has improved my driving because it made me more aware of my surroundings. It also gave me experience that I would not have been able to get naturally here in Vegas. This program has made me a more confident driver all around.”

Morrow concludes, “I would definitely recommend this program to someone else! It is a unique and entertaining way to learn new skills at the wheel. Everything about Driver’s Edge was a great experience that I will never forget.”

Students must be 21 or younger with a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license. Students under 18 must have a parental consent form and LVMS Minor Waiver signed. Driver’s Edge takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the Midway. The closest events are in March and April. To sign up for a class, parents should check out the website and join the notification list. The program is about 4 ½ hours, is free, and vehicles are provided. Students will be awarded certificates of completion and leave being a safer driver.