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Professional race car driver teaches driver safety course, cites distracted driving as issue

Professional Race Car Driver Teaches Driver Safety Course, Cites Distracted Driving as Issue
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 4:48 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Nearly 20 community members participated in a traffic safety education course taught by professional race car driver Andy Pilgrim.

The Traffic Safety Education Foundation aims to educate new drivers, parents with children of all ages, teachers and grade school students about traffic safety and the deadly issues associated with distracted driving.

“People are messing with their phone while they’re driving, and we see it all over the world these days. But, certainly, the U.S. has a bigger problem, unfortunately, because we don’t have a very hard or difficult driving test,” said Pilgrim.

Despite fewer cars being on the road in 2020, there were 42,000 car fatalities total in the U.S. Meanwhile, between 2016 and 2019, there was 40,000 total.

“So we’re not sort of taught to do these things. On a very strict level, it’s very easy to get a driving license here,” expressed Pilgrim.

Pilgrim recommends that parents remain vigilant while behind their wheel, especially when children are in the car.

“From the moment you turn the child safety seat around to face front, those children are watching their parents drive and learning from their driving habits and behaviors,” said Pilgrim. “By the time they get to around 12-13 years old, they’ve been watching that it’s fixed behavior. So when they get their permit at 15, or 16 years old, they’re trying to unlearn things. Don’t set that example.”

He also recommends teens with a driver’s permit log more than the standard 60 which is required in Kentucky.

“Different hours for different states, but do more than that, and certainly don’t sign off on the logbook when you haven’t done those hours. When you haven’t done those hours, it leaves you open to a tremendous amount of potential liabilities,” said Pilgrim. “

After the course, participants got the chance to race around the 3.2-mile track at the NCM Motorsports Park.

“They listened to me talk about traffic safety and luckily everybody stayed awake, which is great. But then as a reward, we have them on the track and they’re learning some skills on track too,” said Pilgrim. “Getting around this racetrack is not easy.”

Pilgrim will teach another course in September but that is already full. For more information on his non-profit organization on traffic safety go to TSEF.org.

To book Pilgrim for your next engagement, contact Kenzie Layton at (270) 467-8809 or email kenzie@motorsportspark.org.

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