Educational Foundation

Educational Foundation

Educational Foundation

  1. SAFE DRIVERS –SAFE FAMILIES AT HEIMATFEST

    The MBCAEF conducted its first SD-SF program at Heimatfest on October 5th 2014. The event was held at the beautiful Barber track in Birmingham Alabama. Dr. Jim Roberts chaired the event in co-operation with the Porsche and Lotus clubs to reduce the high cost of using this world class facility. Attached to the track was the Barber Museum that held some 1400 motorcycles and other historic racing cars. One of the disciplines taught at the SD-SF is “ situational awareness” which came in handy as we were returning from a dinner at the “Club” when Jim spotted a pickup truck with no lights coming around the bend. We missed the “grim reaper” but a car behind us took the force of a front end collision with the truck that had strayed out of its lane into our oncoming traffic.

    A tour of the Mercedes=Benz plant where the ML and C class are produced was very instructional as we were introduced to the 1700 robots busy welding.

    A new model is being introduced that is currently a secret but it could have been that body in “white” that was being tested for metal thickness and consistency. As no photographs were allowed under the watchful eye of security, we can only guess as to what the body shell was for.

    The Barber museum is a must see if you are visiting the plant’s gift shop or participating in the track events.

    On the Sunday Jim’s fellow section members along with Frank, Mary Alice Cozza, section helpers and I set the cones in a paddock area where we could run the autocross and SD-SF program together. Unfortunately we were competing with College football that weekend so our expected 12 students were reduced to 5 but we did have 4 new car coaches that we trained to help. Students and coaches came from as far away as Memphis and Florida.

    After completing the autocross, the students were asked to drive the course while texting. The number of knocked down cones were enough to prove the point of the dangers of being distracted while driving.

    As a special treat during the lunch break, we took the students out onto the Barber track for 4 laps so they could practice some of their new skills at 45 miles/hr. We want to thank the Alabama Section for its gracious hospitality and those from the MBCA such as Terry Kiwala, Frank and Mary Alice Cozza and Bill Hopper for their support for Heimatfest and SD-SF and we received very positive feedback for the students and car coaches on the event.

    Doug Dees

    MBCAEF

  2. MBCA TORONTO SECTION – SAFE DRIVERS-SAFE FAMILIES and DEFENSIVE DRIVING EVENT

    MBCA TORONTO SECTION MAY 31 2014

    SAFE DRIVERS-SAFE FAMILIES and DEFENSIVE DRIVING EVENT

    A perfect sunny day in the country to test the skills of our young and more experienced drivers was the right venue for the second 2014 driving event for the Toronto Section. Frank and Mary Alice Cozza and Ernie Fancy Director North East Region and Bonnie Fancy came to Toronto to sample some Canadian hospitality, food and to share their Defensive Driving skills with the more seasoned drivers. Miss Lauren Howe, second runner up for the Miss Universe Canada pageant joined us in the afternoon to talk to the young drivers about their driving experience in the SD-SF program.

    The weekend started on Friday night with a magnificent buffet at The Wok of Fame restaurant. Early on Saturday morning, the set up and cone arrangement got the event started off on time. Cones and Pizza were donated by local manufacturers.

    The Safe Drivers-Safe Families event had a dual purpose to also train the new Regional Instructors by Doug Dees, Dr. Jim Roberts, chair of the National Driving Committee and Harald von Langsdorff. Both groups went through the classroom demonstration on proper seating, technical inspection of their cars, followed by the driving clinic.

    Collision avoidance and the slalom maneuvers completed the activities before lunch followed by figure eights and the grand finale of the autocross which was the highlight for all 43 participants.

    The Safe Drivers-Safe Families group who met in the afternoon was debriefed by Lauren Howe on what they learned today and what suggestions the students had to improve the course.

    Our resident Film producer Christopher Dew added by his camera crew of Gunter Barkowsky and John Osbourne did the filming and editing for the websites.

    YouTube Preview Image

    The new accredited Regional Instructors are:

    Christopher Dew

    • Norbert Egli
    • Ernie Fancy
    • John Geist
    • Michael Hoegl
    • Joyce Hughes
    • Richard Kunst
    • Mariela Castano
    • Harald von Langsdorff
    • Peter Spitzer

    Timing for the auto cross resulted in the following adult winners.

    1. Michael Hoegl
    2. Peter Spitzer
    3. Richard Kunst

    Hoegl Parking Challenge Adults

    1. Jim Brindle
    2. Annette Hoegl
    3. Larry Henry

    Hoegl Parking challenge Youth

    1. Kelsey Baird
    2. Carter Rock
    3. Shannon Hughes

    Young Drivers Autocross

    1. Kelsey Baird
      • Taylor Baird
      • Alexander Alexopoulos

    The afternoon ended with gifts from Mercedes-Benz Canada for participants who travelled to Toronto as well as prizes for the winners of the autocross. Certificates were given to the successful drivers and Regional Instructors.

    To celebrate the event we retired to Harald’s house in the country to have fine wine, German beer, cheese, chili and butternut chicken on the patio overlooking his private pond.

    Many thanks to the attendees and new instructors for a great event.

    Doug Dees

    President MBCAEF

  3. Mika Häkkinen meets with MBCA Toronto and MBCAEF in Toronto

    On May 15th Mika Häkkinen joined with Mercedes-Benz Canada and Johnnie Walker Distilleries as their official spokesperson to kick off the Canadian “ JOIN THE PACT” campaign to not Drink and Drive. Over a million signatures have been collected around the world whereby a $20 taxi voucher will be given to early responders for each pledge. The second tour will be launched at the Singapore Grand Prix with the objective of collecting another million pledges.

    At this official press launch, I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Mika to discuss the activities of the MBCA and the MBCAEF’s “Safe Drivers-Safe Families” program. I emphasized our commitment to have his message delivered as part of the MBCAEF program at our driving events as part of our partnership with Mercedes-Benz Canada.

    He was very interested in the MBCA activities and had heard of the MBCA. He was presented with the latest Star magazine, a honourary membership to the MBCA Toronto Section as well as a “Legends of the Canadian Autobahn” shirt which he appreciated very much.

    Although my Finnish was rusty, I did have the opportunity to practice it but his English was better than my Finnish. A special C63 with the Johnnie Walker was on display with requisite Johnnie Walker leather clad ladies for photo ops.

    Executives of Mercedes-Benz Canada, Johnnie Walker and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario were also present to lend their support for this international campaign.

    Mika will be at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in June to further promote the “Join the Pact” campaign. To sign up MBCA members can go to www.jointhepact.com or use the hashtag #ImNOTdriving .

    Doug Dees

    President MBCAEF

  4. Leading Wireless Providers Unite With Youth and Transportation Safety Leaders to Stop Texting and Driving as Part of Drive 4 Pledges Day

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Four national wireless service providers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc. and Verizon, are uniting today with youth from across the country and transportation safety leaders, to hold an It Can Wait® Drive 4 Pledges Day rally on Capitol Hill. The event will inspire teens to take action and be leaders in their communities to end texting and driving. Speakers include FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, NTSB Member Christopher Hart, and teen actress and recording artist Coco Jones.

    Today’s event is held in conjunction with the 4th Annual National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) Distracted Driving Summit taking place September 18-20, 2013, in Washington, DC and is sponsored by AT&T and State Farm. Drive 4 Pledges Day urges people to take the pledge and share their commitment to never text and drive. Nearly 2,000 Drive 4 Pledges activities will be held in communities across the nation, including more than 1,500 at high schools. Supporters of the movement are being called to help spread the word to their families, friends and communities. Additional information and resources are available at ItCanWait.com.

    Attendees will also hear from Reggie Shaw, whose story is featured in the powerful new documentary, “From One Second to the Next,” by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog. They will also have the opportunity to sign the It Can Wait pledge wall and experience a texting and driving simulator that shows firsthand the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

    The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission said, “The statistics are staggering and the stories are heartbreaking. Each year, too many Americans die in distracted driving crashes. These deaths are preventable and the more we educate people on this issue the more lives we will save. I applaud the wireless carriers for taking on this initiative and I also commend the students here today, from across the nation, who are doing their part to make our roads safer.”

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,331 people were killed in vehicle crashes in 2011 involving a distracted driver, up from 3,267 fatalities in 2010. That same year, an additional 387,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

    The NOYS teens will help lead by example. In fact, a ConnectSafely.org survey[i] found that individuals who speak up can have a profound impact, particularly on teens.

    • 78% of teen drivers say they’re likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it’s wrong or stupid.
    • 90% say they’d stop if a friend in the car asked them to.
    • 93% would stop if a parent in the car asked them to.
    • 44% say that they would be thankful if a passenger complained about their texting while driving

    “Individuals and organizations sharing the It Can Wait message are making a difference,” said Charlene Lake, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer. “Together we can raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, help change behaviors and, ultimately, save lives.”

    “In our accident investigations, all too often we find that distraction is a cause or contributing factor,” said NTSB Member Christopher Hart. “And the biggest culprit, by far, is texting. One study has shown that texting increases crash risk by 23 times. We must work together to change the cultural norms so that the dangerous combination of texting and driving is unacceptable.”

    “Safety is the number one priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez. “We’ve made tremendous progress to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in this country. But texting while driving remains a very serious problem. When it comes to driving, we need to exercise good judgment and common sense. That means buckling the seat belt, putting away the cell phone, watching out for pedestrians and bicyclists, and simply driving safely.”

    Participating students in teams of two were selected by NOYS because of their interest in traffic safety and desire to join the distracted driving prevention effort. They will take what they learn back to their hometowns to lead their communities in fighting distracted driving through projects. Hometowns include:

    • Brawley, CA; Newcastle, IN; Springfield, KY; Seekonk, MA; Fulda, MN; Norfolk, NE; Freehold, NJ; Mamaroneck, NY; Springfield, OH; Tulsa, OK; Hopkins, SC; Brookings, SD; and Logan, UT.

    SOCIAL MEDIA: Join the social media conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #ItCanWait and #TDDSummit2013 and follow NOYS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4NOYS

    ABOUT NOYS: NOYS is a collaboration of over 70 national youth serving organizations including non-profit organizations, business and industry leaders and governmental agencies, with the common goal of promoting safe and healthy behaviors among our nation’s youth. Through its members NOYS reaches more than 80 million youth with its safety messages. NOYS believes effective youth prevention programs are teen-led and teen-informed. The Coalition acknowledges the need to convene, train, and empower youth leaders to address the issue of distracted driving. Visit www.noys.org for more information.

    [i] ConnectSafely.org survey sponsored by AT&T

     

    SOURCE National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS)

    RELATED LINKS
    http://www.noys.org

  5. Latest Hagerty Price Guide Confirms Strength In Collector Car Market

    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — New market data published by the Hagerty Price Guide shows that the most expensive and desirable cars in the collector vehicle hobby have reached unprecedented highs. Five of the price guide’s seven primary indices increased in value, and four of the indices established new high-water marks. The values of the three most expensive of these indices jumped by double-digit rates over the past four months:

    • Blue Chip Index: Up 10 percent since previous issue 21; May 2013 (22 percent year over year)
    • Ferrari Index: Up 15 percent since previous issue 21; May 2013 (32 percent year over year)
    • Post-war German Index: Up 16 percent since previous issue 21; May 2013 (40 percent year over year)

    “We continue to see strength at the top of the market,” said McKeel Hagerty, President and CEO of Hagerty. “But when examined from a global economic standpoint, it still is an issue of supply and demand. There’s a growing group of capable collectors chasing a limited supply of great cars.”

    Two cars were sold publically over the summer for nearly $30 million each; prior to 2008, a public sale had never eclipsed $10 million. “Significant private transactions throughout the year and the auctions on the Monterey Peninsula in August crystallized what we have been observing for the past year,” Hagerty said. “When it comes to the rarest and best examples of top-tier collectibles, it’s clear we have not yet found the upper limit for values.”

    Meanwhile, the affordable segments of the market exhibited much more modest growth, with the Hagerty Price Guides “Affordable Classics” index increasing less than 1 percent and Post-war British Index nudging forward at 3 percent. Year over year, these market indicators have gained 4 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

    Other notable market shifts as reported by the Hagerty Price Guide include:

    • 1968-70 Ferrari 365 GTC up 74 percent since May (119 percent year over year)
    • 1992-98 McLaren F1 up 61 percent since May (113 percent year over year)
    • 1995-97 Ferrari 456 GT down 15 percent since May (down 5 percent year over year)
    • 1953-56 Packard Caribbean Convertible down 8 percent since May (down 7 percent year over year)
    • 1977-80 Bentley T2 down 8 percent since May (down 8 percent year over year)

    Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty is the world’s leading insurance provider for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial and club liability coverage, provides online Valuation Tools, and publishes the Hagerty Price Guide, the premier price and value guide for post-war collectible automobiles. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com or www.hagerty.com/valuationtools.

     

    SOURCE Hagerty

    RELATED LINKS
    http://www.hagerty.com

  6. MBCA – Toronto Section Safer Driving Event a success!

    A perfect sunny day in the suburbs to test the skills of young as well as more experienced drivers was the right backdrop for the first 2013 driving event of the Toronto Section. Well known instructors Frank and Mary Alice Cozza, Paul Bailey and Terry Kiwala traveled from the United States to Toronto, Canada to sample some Canadian hospitality, food and to share their Defensive Driving skills with our group. Roy Kuck in his 1994 300E cabriolet and his grandson Zack Davis also joined us from New York State.

    The weekend started on Saturday night with a magnificent buffet at the WokofFame restaurant. Early Sunday morning, the set up and cone arrangement got the event started off on time.

    The Safe Drivers – Safe Families event was coached by Doug Dees, Norbert Egli, Lauren Howe and Harald von Langsdorff.

    Both groups went through the classroom demonstration on proper seating, technical inspection of their cars including – the often neglected – tire check, followed by the driving clinic.

    Collision avoidance and the slalom maneuvers completed the activities before lunch followed by figure eights and the grand finale of the mini autocross which was the highlight for all participants.

    The Safe Drivers group met again in the afternoon to discuss situational awareness and were debriefed by Lauren Howe on what they’d learned during the day. Students also had a chance to give their feedback – to further develop the course.

    Timing for the autocross resulted in the following winners.

    Best Overall

    1. Michael Hoegl (DD course)
    2. Tristan La (SD-SF course)
    3. Marcus van Bers (DD course)

    Women

    1. Joyce Hughes (DD course)

    Young Drivers

    1. Tristan La
    2. Yida (Derek) Lin
    3. Kieran Fitzner

    The afternoon ended with gifts of appreciation for our American friends who travelled to Toronto as well as prizes for the winners of the autocross.

    The group retired to the residence of Toronto Section President Harald von Langsdorff to celebrate the successful event
    with some fine wine & cheese thanks to Harald’s wife Gill and beer & pizza on the patio overlooking the nice country side and pond. Here the US visitors also got a good night sleep for their return the next morning.

    Requests for a repeat of this event are already pouring in.

    Thanks again to all the volunteers who made this possible. Including the Trillium BMW Club who generously offered us to use some of their pylons.

    See the pictures here

    See the videos here.

  7. MBCA – Toronto Section Announces Safer Driving Through Mercedes-Benz Club of America!

    Toronto – February 14, 2013 – Today the MBCA, Toronto-Section Announces – Safer Driving Offered Through Mercedes-Benz Club of America! It only takes a split second for an accident to happen. You and your family will know alternatives in an emergency situation to help avoid accidents, by taking the defensive driving course offered by the Mercedes Benz Club of America Toronto Section this Spring. It is knowing what your car can do and knowing what you can do with your car, which makes the difference! You can’t stop as fast as you can avoid, and the best accident is the accident you avoid. Buy another second or two in an emergency. It may save your life!
    Two courses are being offered. The Defensive Driving Course for the more seasoned driver that want to update his driving skills and the Safe Drivers – Safe Families course where we will be teaching basic driving skills and car knowledge to our young student drivers.

    Bring the car you, your wife and your licensed teenagers drive everyday (it does not have to be a Mercedes). The two courses will offered both on May 5 and 6, 2013 at the Powerade Centre in Mississauga.

     

    Each course is run in two parts. Beginning with a short morning class covering necessary basics from seat adjustment to car dynamics, it progresses to individual “hands on” sessions with an instructor to practice low speed maneuvers in controlled circumstances to practice avoiding an obstacle in the road, proper hard braking technique and steering through slalom to feel your car’s dynamics.

    This exciting day is rounded off with an Autocross Lite course to drive in the afternoon. Besides having more fun, you and your family members review the skills you learned in the morning session, by driving through this course with or without instructor. Certificates and awards will be given to make the day more memorable! A feedback session will help let students and instructors share their experiences.

    Members from other MBCA Sections and non-members are invited to participate.

    MBCA Members save up to 50 %. Early Birds save additionally.

    Prices start at $30/person.

    Registrations are online only.

    Go to Upcoming Events on the MBCA-Toronto homepage page

    or directly to the Event Registration Page.

     

    This events is sponsored by the MBCA Toronto Section www.mbca-toronto.org

    and the Mercedes-Benz Club of America Educational Foundation www.mbcaef.org

     

    For inquiries, please contact Harald von Langsdorff, President MBCA Toronto Section [email protected] | (905) 838 1980

  8. StarFest 2012 – Concours d’Elegance at the Biltmore – Arizona

    Lauren Howe at StarFest 2012, MBCA Educational Foundation:

    YouTube Preview Image

     

    Safe Driving, Save Families Driving Video:

    YouTube Preview Image

  9. Lauren Howe on Her Experience at Safe Drivers, Safe Families Program at StarFest® 2012

    Q: Good Morning Lauren, regarding your experience with the program… was there anything you learned about your car and the driving situations that you are more comfortable in, now that you have had some practice in accident avoidance?

    Lauren Howe: “It’s about getting to know your car. Understanding how it runs, it’s acceleration, braking system and most importantly how it will react to certain situations. It’s like playing a sport for the first time. When you’re faced with an opponent for the first time, you’re unsure what to do so you just go for it. Sometimes it works, mostly though it was having a trial on the situation. When driving on the road, there is no trial situation. When your life is on the line you want to make sure that you know exactly what to do at that moment and have no hesitations about it. Personally, I misunderstood the safest way to hold a steering wheel. Something as simple as that can have a very large effect on your injuries.”

  10. MBCA Educational Foundation – Safe Families Safe Driving Program

    The MBCA Educational Foundation has launched the Safe Drivers, Safe Families program. The overall objective of the program is to provide teens with a basic set of fundamental skills and attitudes on which they can develop all the knowledge, experience, and techniques of a competent safe driver.

    We recognize that there is only a limited amount of skill or knowledge that can be taught or absorbed in one day, even combined with some study of written materials. Consequently we are focusing on presenting a limited number of basic skills and providing the students with the opportunity to experience them while driving their own automobiles in a closed-course supervised situation.

    The skills to be taught in the driving clinic are:

    • How to make sure the vehicle is mechanically sound and safe to drive.
    • How to set the seats and mirrors and position the head and hands of the driver for maximum control of the vehicle.
    • How to accelerate, steer, and stop the vehicle in extreme situations.
    • How to steer with the eyes and continuously scan and evaluate the driving environment in order to drive smoothly and safely.
    • How to develop a set of attitudes that will enable the driver to anticipate circumstances that will require response and determine the proper response for the circumstances.

    In July of 2011, Lauren Howe won the title of Miss Teen Canada-World. She then represented Canada at the Teen World Competition where she placed fourth runner up and won the Congeniality Award.

    Lauren has first handedly seen the devastating implications that occur from a lack of safe driving skills. She wants to stress the importance of both these skills and the necessity to stay focused behind the wheel, as it only takes a brief moment to change the course of one’s life.

    Lauren Howe is an outgoing, nineteen year old from Toronto who is currently a second year engineering student at the University of Toronto. She graduated from high school with 95% average and along with her diploma she received a UCAPE diploma, Global Leadership Diploma, the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and the highest average in her class for Calculus and Vectors. She is bilingual in French and English and is currently trying to expand her current knowledge of Mandarin. She also holds her General Insurance License for Ontario. In her spare time, she loves to act, run, kick box and play Volleyball. Field Hockey is a passion of her as she was captain of her High School team, a member of the McGill Varsity Team and played for Team Ontario.Passionate about volunteerism, she has previously been actively involved in volunteering with adults and children with Intellectual Disabilities as well as events to support various organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Free The Children and Dignitas International. She was also a part of the team called “Help Haiti” who raised funds for Earthquake relief in Haiti after the 2010 Earthquake. In November of the same year, she won the Title of Miss Teen Ontario-World where she chose a platform to help reduce hunger and homelessness in local communities through the reuse of perfectly good food that is typically thrown in the garbage.

    Lauren is extremely passionate about traveling, especially when it comes to visiting unique places of the world and the discovering the extreme diversity between lifestyles. This led her to become involved with International Service Projects including construction projects in Peru, Ghana and India.

    In July of 2011, she won the title of Miss Teen Canada-World. She then represented Canada at the Teen World Competition where she placed fourth runner up and won the Congeniality Award.

  11. Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Teen Driver Education

    The following MBUSA press release covers a new Teen Driver Education and Training Center associated with the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy.
    (Source: MBUSA/Montvale, NJ/October 18, 2011 – LOS ANGELES)

    The New Los Angeles Facility Is First Teen Driver Education And Training Center Built With Students And Parents In Mind

    New Integrated Coaching Approach Marks Major Enhancement To Driver Education In California

    The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, is gearing up to take on its “freshman class” of teen driver students through its first training center located in the U.S. at 8231 W. 3rd Street in Los Angeles, California.

    Working in tandem with an independent team of renowned professionals in transit and driver education, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is finalizing both its facility and curriculum – presenting a new approach to driver education while meeting and exceeding California DMV requirements.

    Mercedes-Benz, a leader in automobile safety, is making a major commitment to driver education and safety in Southern California to combat the alarming statistics surrounding teen car crashes in the region. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of death amongst adolescents ages 15-20 is a car crash. National averages show that teens are most likely to have a significant crash in their first year of driving, four-times higher than an adult or experienced driver.

    The new methodologies and approach for the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is based on findings of the highly acclaimed HERMES research group, including European traffic safety organizations and institutions, confirming the most effective methods for both teaching and learning. Coaching, a learner-centered method, will lead students out of the passive consuming of safety information into the role of actively producing safe driving results by making better decisions on the road.

    Proven successful at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the U.K., the California Academy program is a customized curriculum involving a highly interactive, participatory system of key tactical on-line and classroom components in conjunction with appropriate on-road training. With this approach, maneuverability and decision-making processes are developed for Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy students through role-playing, case studies, dilemma games, witness accounts, brainstorming and coaches’ questions. Today, many schools are set on traditional teaching to the test or promoting rote memorization.

    Mercedes-Benz is part of a growing movement towards placing a higher value on driver education in general. For the past year, Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy has been working with the California State PTA and partnered with IMPACT Teen Drivers, including giving a grant to provide important safety workshops at over 20 Los Angeles area schools.

    “We are leading a path to modify and update driver education to accommodate the incredible changes in the driving landscape that have transpired over the past six decades,” said Academy Director Carolyn Duchene. “Road conditions, technology, distractions, traffic and other externalities including a record number of drivers today along with road improvement projects require a totally new approach to ensure teens become safe and responsible drivers,” she continued.

    The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will offer a variety of programs for teens and new drivers at various stages of their learning process, taking full advantage of the Graduated Driver Licensing framework in California with a heavy focus on the importance of parental involvement, which leads to practice and positive reinforcement for success.

    • The most comprehensive program for those at the beginning of their learning phase incorporates an engaging, on-line theory component interspersed with corresponding blocks of road application designed to better prepare new drivers with more critical thinking and road strategy.
    • An on-road, behind-the-wheel program is available for those who already have their learner’s permit.
    • Customized programs can also be provided to further refine driving skill sets for any age or level.

    The MBDA operations and training center, which is in the final stages of the build out, is strategically located with access to the Los Angeles Metro area and close proximity to several premier shopping centers. “We chose the location for the first U.S. Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy to meet the needs of our students and their families – and that includes accessibility to many neighborhoods, close proximity to several major highways and shopping destinations for parent convenience,” Duchene said.

    Mercedes-Benz plans to announce additional Driving Academy locations in the future and is engaged in active, ongoing recruitment for driving instructors. For more information on employment opportunities and enrollment, please visit www.mbdrivingacademy.com.

    About Mercedes-Benz USA
    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and the SLS AMG supercar.

    MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans and smart in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com

  12. Instructional Driving Videos from Mercedes-Benz

    Ten instructional driving videos, hosted by professional racecar driver and AMG Driving Academy instructor Tommy Kendall, are now available through Mercedes-Benz USA. There are excellent driving tips for both adults and teens included in all of the videos and we encourage you to check them out.

    SEAT POSITION

    BRAKING

  13. Staggering Cost of Teen Driving – You Can Make a Difference

    Its no secret. Teens are involved in automobile accidents at an alarming rate and the tragic loss of life is heart-wrenching, priceless. But the cost in dollars to society has a price according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and AAA. Earlier today (May 28, 2008), MSN published an article by Doug Newcomb that sheds light on their findings:

    According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.

    Ask any parent who has just added a kid to the family’s insurance policy and they’ll tell you how expensive it is to have a teen behind the wheel. But the overall cost of teen driving is as tragic as it is staggering. According to a recent report from AAA, car accidents involving drivers 15 to 17 cost society more than $34 billion in medical expenses, property damage and related costs in 2006.

    This massive figure includes $9.8 billion related to fatal crashes, and double that amount ($20.5 billion), connected with non-fatal crashes, while property damage losses made up the remaining $4.1 billion. But there are, of course, more heartbreaking and incalculable losses behind these numbers….

    According to an analysis conducted for AAA, in 2006 drivers ages 15 to 17 were involved in approximately 974,000 crashes that injured 406,427 people and killed 2,541.

    The rest of the MSN article can be found here, The Staggering Cost of Teen Driving.

    Now that you are aware of the problem, are you ready to do something about it? The MBCA Educational Foundation is involved with the Tire Rack Street Survival program; a successful program designed to save lives – teen lives – through driving education. Get involved – save a life. Contact us here and we’ll help you get involved.

    If you would prefer to make a financial contribution, that’s available also. Please use the donation button in the right sidebar, which will process your financial contribution to MBCA Educational Foundation (any amount, takes less than 5-minutes). However you may get involved, your contribution is appreciated.

  14. Impressions of a Tire Rack Street Survival® Instructor

    By George Murphy, MBCA Technical Director

    Last year, over 5,000 teenagers died in motor vehicle crashes, the leading killer of American youths aged 16 to 19, accounting for more than 40 percent of fatalities in that age bracket. To reduce this number, Tire Rack Street Survival® has developed a non-profit, national driver education program aimed at teaching teens the skills they need to stay alive behind the wheel.

    – Tire Rack Street Survival®

    On April 26 of this year three MBCA members from the Smoky Mountain Section volunteered their time to help with a Tire Rack Street Survival® course conducted in Knoxville, Tennessee. Bill Lenihan, Walter Myer and myself met with local east Tennessee members from BMWCCA and SCCA and were welcomed with open arms to assist as driving instructors and administrative support. This program is now supported by the MBCA Educational Foundation as well.

    The primary emphasis of the Tire Rack Street Survival® is a “hands-on” driving experience in real-world situations for new teenage drivers. The students use their own cars to learn about its handling limits and how to control the car in emergency situations. We had 14 students and 14 instructors at our session, so each teen driver was able to stay with one instructor all day.

    “The students will become more observant of the traffic situation they find themselves in. They will learn to look far enough ahead to anticipate unwise actions of other drivers. As the students master the application of physics to drive their cars, they will make fewer unwise driving actions themselves. They will understand why they should always wear their own seat belts, and why they should insist that their passengers wear seat belts, too.

    The Tire Rack Street Survival® school is a safe teen program designed to go beyond today’s required driver’s education and give teens across the U.S. the driving tools and hands-on experience to become safer, smarter drivers. Trained and qualified in-car driving instructors as well as classroom experience for each student. It’s about more than DRIVING. It’s about LIVING!”(Resource: Tire Rack Street Survival website)

    It was gratifying to see the attitude of these teenagers change as the day wore on – from mild disinterest in the morning to rabid enthusiasm by late afternoon! We started out in the morning with technical inspection of each car and getting acquainted with our young students. After a short classroom session to show the drivers what we will be doing, we headed for the first of several defensive driving sessions – each interspersed with a 45-minute classroom session. The tire smoke and coincident noise from the first few exercises whetted their appetites for more! By lunchtime, all the talk around the table was car handling, wet skids and how many cones each knocked over!

    As we wrapped up in late afternoon, few wanted to quit – so we had an impromptu autocross featuring one gate that caused the car to drop one wheel off the pavement (a prime cause of many car crashes by inexperienced drivers). This exercise was one of the scariest for these new drivers, but all learned the technique to regain control of the car without too much drama.

    It was very gratifying to see the change in attitude in these youngsters as they learned new defensive driving skills – not to mention getting a chance to drive their cars in a manner frowned upon by parents and local police! But it is all done in a safe, controlled manner with an experienced adult high performance driver in the car at all times.

    I strongly urge MBCA members to get out and volunteer to help with this program. Contact the MBCA Educational Foundation to offer your services. Experienced track and autocross drivers are always needed – besides – it’s great fun to mix it up with some really great kids!

  15. Street Survival and MBCAEF

    Last year, over 5,000 teenagers died in motor vehicle crashes, the leading killer of American youths aged 16 to 19, accounting for more than 40 percent of fatalities in that age bracket. To reduce this number, Tire Rack Street Survival® has developed a non-profit, national driver education program aimed at teaching teens the skills they need to stay alive behind the wheel.

    The Mercedes-Benz Club of America Educational Foundation is a sponsor of this important driving program. We invite you to join us in our efforts to save lives. View Street Survival video…

  16. MBCA Educational Foundation Scholarships

    The Mercedes-Benz Club of America Educational Foundation was established for the expressed purpose of educating the public on the rich history and heritage of the Mercedes-Benz automobile. We are working to meet that mission. For example, in 2000 the foundation established the W. Robert Nitske and Frank King award at the McPherson College automotiveThe Star Magazine - Mercedes-Benz Club of America restoration department. The Nitske-King scholarship is named in recognition of two outstanding members. W. Robert Nitske, a charter member of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Inc., who served on its national board including the office of president in 1999. Frank King also served the club, not only as an active national board member, but also as the club’s technical advisor and noted technical editor for The Star magazine.

    The first recipient of the MBCA Educational Foundation’s scholarship award was Chris Seymour, as reported and described in the July/August 2001 issue of The Star. Automobile restoration students at the college who compete for the Nitske-King Award would receive a grant of $1,000 for the best Mercedes-Benz related research paper. Committed to support students at the McPherson College restoration program, the foundation has already recognized six students with more to come.

    Article by Nathanael Lander, Mercedes-Benz Restoration Begins at McPherson College

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