10th Annual Teen Safe Driving Camp

Water traction training / Claudia Coco WGXA

FORSYTH, Ga -- The Georgia Public Safety Training Center and the Monroe County Sheriff's office hosted their annual Teen Safe Driving Camp all-day Saturday, to teach safety techniques and give hands on experience to teenage drivers.

Sergeant Lawson Bittick with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said the first time someone feels their car hydroplane or lose traction, they never forget it.

"It gives them a hands on experience rather than just reading it in a book, or something like that. They'll actually put their hands on a steering wheel and learn how to drive in certain situations," said Sergeant Bittick.

Sergeant Bittick oversaw the activity where teenagers learned how to control the car when they lost traction in the rain. He said the experience they get at the camp keeps them coming back.

"It's the tenth year that we've had it and we're max plus five. So we have 135 participants this year," said Bittick.

Greg Hattaway is one of the driving instructors at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. He taught teens how to safely maneuver their cars back on the road if they drove off of it at a high speed.

"This is what we call an off-road recovery, so what we're doing is we're teaching the kids to drive at an 8/4 no higher than a 9/3 position on the steering wheel," said Hattaway.

He said keeping your hands lower on the steering wheel gives you more control, and simple tips like those can keep teenagers from getting into a major accident.

"If they reach up and hit the breaks really hard, they can put the car into a rear wheel or an all wheel slide, go down in the ditch and possibly have a roll over," said Hattaway.

He said teaching them to stay calm and having the hands on experience of knowing what to expect, helps the teen's confidence when driving.

"When the teenagers first get in the cars they're really nervous about it, after they realize its really simple, it's what they're doing with really simple tactics, they feel a lot more comfortable," Hattaway said.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office and The Georgia Public Safety Training Center stressed how dangerous distracted driving is.

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