MY STREET SURVIVAL EXPERIENCE

BY ELLA RHODES

My experience at Tire Rack Street Survival was a great learning experience. I learned how I can control my car and the best way to do so. It also taught me where my car is, and what to do in certain situations when driving.

The instructors were awesome and supportive. I’m 15 and got my learner’s permit back in January 2018. I also recently got my first car this past September. My parents and I bought an E90 2006 BMW 330xi, so it was really fun to bring to Street Survival. The day I went to Street Survival, it started out with a talk about car control.

There were two classroom sessions. The talks and presentations were good audio and visual information. Then, we got to the hands-on learning with your own car. There are three stations that helped me learn more about my car and how cars work in general in these situations. The first station I went to was the brake/ABS (anti-lock braking system) station. This showed how my car could brake in a really short amount of time. The exercise also taught me how to quickly maneuver from one lane to another and come to an emergency stop safely. The second station I went to was the skid pad where they put a bunch of soap and water on the pavement. Then I would drive on the soapy water fairly fast while turning to make a circle all the way through. I would drive in a circle several times until I started to slide.

The skid pad taught me that when my car starts to spin out, I can control it so I don’t spin out by turning the wheel in whatever direction the back of the car
is skidding.

The instructors also taught me how to correct the position of my car by pulling on the emergency brake. It always surprised me, but it was a lot of fun!

The last station was the slalom. This taught me where my car is when driving. I was able to wind through cones to get to know where my wheels are so that I can avoid things on the road safely when I am driving. Overall, Street Survival is a great hands-on learning experience with your car, and in general, when it comes to safety and skill on the road. It made me understand my own car better and how it performs, especially in emergency situations. The instructors are very helpful, positive, and great teachers for young or new drivers.

Photos by David Jobusch.

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