Tucson teens tear up the track, train with racing pros

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Video by kgun9.com

Tucson teens tear up the track, train with racing pros

By Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Nov 9, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov 9, 2013

 TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Teenagers are eight times more likely to die behind the wheel than experienced drivers, and Ford Motor Company is trying to combat that statistic with the "Driving Skills for Life" program in Tucson. 

Teens who are newly licensed drivers or who have a learners permits skid, swerve and steer around a controlled course at Tucson Police Training Facility with a racing professional in the passenger seat. 

The pros say it's the best way to learn how to properly react in a sticky situation. 

"You feel like you're going around in circles even though you're only moving a little bit, but it really sets the stage for if you swerve and your car really does do that: What's going to happen?" said teen driver Chloe Carlson. 

Carlson has had her learners permit for two years but is in no rush to get her license. She knows that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. 

Her mother said that statistic hits close to home. "We got a call one night that my cousin was killed in a car accident when he was a teenager," Linda Carlson said. "We take it very seriously in our family to make sure they are safe before they get on the road."

"We provide in this community lots of opportunities and parents really should take advantage of it because that's not the phone call they ever want to get," said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. 

But after skidding, swerving and knocking down more cones than they can count, these teens are finally ready for the road. 

It's not too late to get your teen involved! Visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com to register for this free training session on Sunday, November 10 at 7:30 a.m. You can also show up to the Tucson Police Department Training Facility at 10001 S. Wilmot Rd. at 7:30 a.m. to register in person. 

Teens need to bring a valid learners permit or drivers license. 

If you can't get your teen out for Sunday's session, the Tucson Police Foundation does a similar program. Go here for more information.