Gundersen Health System hosts car control clinic helping teen drivers avoid crashes

Young drivers are learning how to avoid crashes on our community’s roadways.

Gundersen Health System is holding a car control clinic simulating real-life road experiences.

Organizers said it gives teen drivers the tools to react to life-or-death situations without hesitation.

“Driving is the most dangerous thing they can do, statistically speaking,” said Nick Roush, chief driving instructor.

He said Gundersen Health System has the tools to better prepare young drivers for chaos on the road.

“We create emergency situations in a controlled environment with cones so they learn what to do,” Roush said. “When they are in an emergency they will have that experience in the car and know what needs to happen to try and avoid an accident.”

Sparta native Allison Hellman said it’s an opportunity to make mistakes and learn.

“It’s a great course,” Hellman said. “It gives me as a parent a great sense of self-assurance and self-confidence that he has those skills because it’s nothing that they get in drivers ed.”

Her son Nathan said it took time to get used to.

“It’s a little intimidating at first when you see these cars doing donuts,” Nathan said.

However, once he took his car out on the course he said he enjoyed the experience.

“It’s more fun than you would expect,” Nathan said.

Roush said these young drivers find out how helpful the clinic truly is.

“Their faces light up and they have a great time and the cool part is they learn a ton,” Roush said.

He said teens learn how to keep their reactions in check.

“They learn to rewire their reactions so they don’t panic and learn what to actually do when they have a problem,” Roush said. “(They also) learn that what our eyes are doing has everything to do with where the car goes.”

Nathan said he has learned a lot.

“(It’s helped so) I don’t hit those corners too slow or too fast,” Nathan said. “I can hit them right and be confident in what I am doing.”

Organizers said young adults who take this course are 60 percent less likely to get a ticket or have an accident.

Gundersen Health System offers two courses during the year. There will be another in the fall. Visit gundersenhealth.org/teencar for more information.