Teen Driver Challenge A program of the Florida Sheriffs Association

Teen Driver Challenge

Traffic crashes occur every 12 seconds in the United States and the number one cause of deaths among young adults. Teens are more likely to be killed in an automobile crash than any other way. The first step in reducing these statistics is to challenge the Teen Driver to become a more informed, safer and efficient driver. The Teen Driver Challenge provides young drivers with the knowledge and hands on experience to reduce their chances of being involved in a crash. 

The Teen Driver Challenge class consist of 8 hours of classroom instruction and driving exercises taught on a Saturday at the Turner Civic Center in Arcadia. 

Course Overview
The Teen Driver Challenge course will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on experience to reduce your chances of being involved in a crash. Your attendance and participation in this training will provide you with lifesaving skills, techniques and education about the operation of a motor vehicle. The driving skills you will learn are the same techniques used by driving professionals, including NASCAR. 

Classroom Instruction
Students will participate in a session that will cover the following topics: 
  • Teen Crash Facts
  • Knowing Your Vehicle
  • Using your Senses
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Safe Driving Habits
  • Alcohol and Driving
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Driving Exercises

Students will then participate in a driving class that will cover the following exercises: 
  • Figure 8
  • Threshold/Emergency Braking
  • Backing
  • Cornering
  • Forward serpentine
  • Reverse serpentine
  • Off road recovery
  • Evasive maneuvers
A vehicle will be available for those attending the course.  The instructors are certified law enforcement trainers. Upon the successful completion of this course, you will graduate with a certificate of completion. (You may present this certificate to your auto insurance company for a possible premium reduction.) 

Florida Sheriff's Association Teen Driver Challenge Information 
Frequently Asked Questions 
  1. Who is my contact for further information, or to whom can I refer inquiries? 
    You may contact thilgeman@desotosheriff.org.
  2. Where will the course be taught?
    The class is held at the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office and the Turner Civic Center in Arcadia.
  3. How do I know if I am approved to attend the Teen Driver Challenge Course after I pre-register?
    You will be contacted by telephone or by email.
  4. Who teaches Teen Driver Challenge?
    Teen Driver Challenge Certified Driving Instructors.
  5. How old does a teen have to be to participate? Can they participate with a learner’s permit? 
    The Teen Driver Challenge was designed with the 15 to 19 year old age group in mind who have their permit or regular driver’s license. Drivers that participate must have 6 months of driving experience as the driving exercises are challenging.
  6. What is the cost?
    The Teen Driver Challenge Course is free to participants.
  7. Who furnishes the vehicle for the training?
    The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office will provide a vehicle while participating in the Teen Driver Challenge.
  8. What is the student to instructor ratio? 
    It is recommended that the student to instructor ratio for the Teen Driver Challenge be 3 students for every one instructor while on the driving range.
  9. What is the difference in this training and that offered by our public schools? 
    Teen Driver Challenge is not intended to replace driver education in the public schools. The course is challenging and is intended for drivers with some experience. The goal of the Teen Driver Challenge is to provide the students with the knowledge and skills needed to avoid a crash. This is provided by both classroom instruction and hands on, practical instruction in the driving range.