Mom’s Eye View: The Audi Club Teen Driving Clinic

by: Laura Parmer-Lohan

Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in the Q3_2023 issue of quattro Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to quattro Magazine, please join Audi Club here.

Calling all teens! Sign up today and hit the gas hard, accelerate and then slam the brakes!What parent in their right mind would allow their newly minted driver to take a driving clinic that encouraged them to take such enormous risks? This one.

For parents, the day the drivers permit is issued is burdened with a mix of anticipation and angst. And for good reason, the CDC reports car accidents were the number one cause of death for teens—every day about eight teens lose their lives in a vehicle. Teenage boys are three times as likely to die in a car accident than their counterparts.

In 2018, my eldest son, Bradley had his license for only a few weeks when he participated in the Audi Club Golden Gate Chapter South Bay Teen Driving Clinic. I was nervous. In the parking lot of a local community college, I watched the students run a slalom at a high rate of speed, accelerate and swerve to avoid invisible stationary obstacles and more.

All day I could hear the squealing of tires and witnessed an occasional spin. It was breathtaking and anxiety inducing. And then the moment arrived, I climbed into the passenger seat while my son put his new skills together in the combined exercise. I am delighted to report that not only am I still alive, but my confidence in Bradleys ability has grown so much that I look to him to give me feedback and insights into safe driving practices. He now serves as the Motor Vehicle Safe Handling Practices Director for our household.

And this past weekend, he served as a driving instructor at the Audi Club Golden Gate Chapter North Bay Teen Driving Clinic held at Solano Community College. He wanted to be on hand to support his younger brother, Gregory, who had signed up for the clinic.

This time, my continuous mom-worry levels were undetectable as I watched Gregory maneuver in between the cones at a high rate of speed and brake in time. I felt enormous gratitude for the Audi Club volunteers who put the event together and worked tirelessly to ensure the teens had a great time and, more importantly, gained respect for the power they yield behind the wheel.

Imagine if every new driver had access to this program, perhaps the CDC could report a precipitous decline in teen deaths due to auto accidents. What a day that would be.

Thank you, Audi Club Golden Gate Chapter for making a difference.