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Racing professionals teach teens how to be smart behind the wheel

Ford Motor Company and Rhode Island State Police made a stop at Seekonk Speedway to teach young drivers how to be smart behind the wheel. (WJAR)

Ford Motor Company and Rhode Island State Police made a stop at Seekonk Speedway to teach young drivers how to be smart behind the wheel.

The Driving Skills for Life program is taught by driving professionals.

“They’re from all over the world,” Nolan Katerberg, a program manager, said. “A lot have racing backgrounds, some are stunt drivers, some are professional drivers.”

Instructors show young drivers skills like how to handle a spin-out, speed management, reaction time and more. Drivers can even get behind the wheel of a Mustang.

Participants also go through a closed course while being distracted by texts and an instructor.

Rhode Island State Police give mock sobriety tests to teens with impairment goggles and weights on them to distort their equilibrium.

“Distracted driving has resulted in many fatal car crashes,” Rhode Island State Police Cpl. Wesley Pennington said. “The number has gone up year after so we’re really pushing to try to curb distracted driving for young drivers in Rhode Island.”

Around 300 teens are expected to attend. Participants must bring their license or learner’s permit.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Greg Martinez of Mendon said.

There are spots open for Thursday’s four-hour morning and afternoon sessions. Registration can be done here.

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