News: MCIEAST hosts dynamic driving course
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marines and Sailors from various military installations in North Carolina enhanced their driving skills through a dynamic driving course at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue Aug. 27 and 28.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience, along with Clemson University Institute for Global Road Safety and Security, provided participants with realistic situations and tested their driving knowledge and skills. Participants learned breaking, control, reaction time and obstacle avoidance techniques. Each skill was tested under wet and dry conditions and interwoven with distractions such as passengers and texting.
The two-day event offered groups of 16 Marines and Sailors four hours of classroom training in tent modules and hands-on training behind the wheel.
“We teach things that apply to all drivers,” said Kenneth B. Rogich, chief financial officer with the Richard Petty Driving Experience. “Many drivers become complacent and forget the basics. This course is a great way to teach drivers how to be actively engaged in what they are doing and avoid distractions.”
Some of the techniques taught in this course were break-stop-break, break-turn-break, obstacle avoidance and speed-stop.
“We want to teach them driving skills that help them learn the physical and mental aspects of driving,” said Rick C. Fedrizzi, the president and chief of operations with Richard Petty Driving Experience. “They are learning the basic risks involved with driving as well as car control skills and regaining control safely and quickly when it is lost.”
Students were selected by their units based on their willingness to participate and desire for further instruction and knowledge about driving and road safety.
Cpl. James R. Cloutier said he came to this course because he heard from others that it was fun and educational and he figured it would be a good way to enhance his driving skills. The landing support specialist with Marine Special Operations Logistics Battalion at Stone Bay in Camp Lejeune said it makes him feel more comfortable knowing that if a situation arises while he is driving, he will know how to handle it properly.
“The most common mistake that is seen in accidents is not a lack of reaction,” said Rogich. “It is overreacting.”
The instructors of the course said they hope the students leave with a better understanding of the risks and consequences involved when mistakes are made while driving. They want drivers to know that there is a huge risk involved with driving, and therefore, driving should be taken as seriously as any other activity involving risk.
“Don’t miss out on this opportunity,” said Cloutier.” Take this time to experience things, learn and have fun.”
(Marine Corps Story by Pfc. Grace L. Waladkewics)