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Mercedes-Benz to Open Teen Driving Academy in Los Angeles

The course involves more than traffic rules. Teens will actually learn car control skills

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, May 10, 2011  |  Updated 11:54 AM PDT
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A new driving school for teenagers will involve more than parallel parking and traffic rules.

Mercedes-Benz will open its first driving school in Los Angeles this fall.

The automaker said the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will provide a curriculum beyond the minimum required by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The teen driving program will combine online training, problem-solving exercises in the classroom and 16 hours of behind-the-wheel training so that young drivers learn more than traffic rules and basic car control skills.

The senior manager of business innovation at Daimler AG said the academy's "unique coaching methods'' and curriculum is designed to teach new teens how to drive safely.

"Despite the dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment over the past 60 years, driver education remains relatively unchanged in the U.S.," said Alexander Hobbach, Senior Manager, Daimler AG. "The skills required to simply get a license do not fully prepare young drivers to meet the demands of the road. Mercedes-Benz recognizes this issue and as a result is creating an educational program for the U.S. that is based on the best teaching methods and tools available."

The academy will provide free driver safety seminars at about 20 high schools in the Los Angeles area.

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teens in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"With only 10 percent of crashes being a result of technical failure and 90 percent due to human error, Mercedes-Benz sees an opportunity to actively improve drivers’ skills, focusing first on novice drivers, who are most at risk on U.S. roads," said Hobbach.

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