At the core of the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is an innovative driver's education approach that reflects the best teaching methods from around the world that is being tailored to the US environment.
The approach is being designed to improve the time spent in the classroom, online and behind-the-wheel. The goal of the Driving Academy is to prepare students for today's driving environment by going beyond basic car control and rote learning of traffic rules.
Research clearly identifies that the standard US formula of 30 hours classroom education followed sequentially by 6 hours behind the wheel cannot always transform a non-driver into a safe driver.
"Despite the dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment over the past 60 years, driver education remains relatively unchanged in the US," said Alexander Hobbach from Daimler AG. "The skills required to simply get a license do not fully prepare young drivers to meet the demands of the road."
Mercedes-Benz has been working with international driver education experts to develop an innovative. A Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the UK was launched in 2009 based on this curriculum and 4500 students have enrolled. Among those who participated in the program, they had a first-time pass rate of 79 percent - nearly double the UK national average of 43 percent.
Mercedes-Benz is combining key elements of the UK curriculum with US DMV requirements to develop the integrated program that is going to be offered at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the US later this year.
Mercedes-Benz has already met with DMV representatives to discuss the development of an integrated curriculum that fulfills all state requirements, which positions the Company as the first and only auto manufacturer to offer a complete, state-certified driving school in the US.
It is well known there is a disproportionately high driving incident rate among novice teen drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the US. In fact, teens aged 16-19 are four times more likely to crash than adults. While technology has led to more driver distractions, especially for teens, driver's education is being offered in fewer and fewer high schools in the US. That is why many organizations and experts are seeking ways to improve driver's education.