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Mercedes-Benz to Launch Teen Dri

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					News Media Contact:                         Adam Paige            201-573-4367
                                            Toll-Free             888-MBNEWS-1

For Release:                                March 23, 2011
                                                      
                                                      
 
    Mercedes-Benz to Launch Teen Driving School in the United
                            States

        The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is set to open in the U.S. in late
        2011 to offer teen driver’s education
        Designed using a unique combination of interactive classroom sessions,
        online learning and behind-the-wheel training that leverages state-of-the-
        art teaching methods and use of supervised practice within the Graduated
        Driver Licensing (GDL) framework
        Focused on making young people better and safer drivers through an
        innovative driver’s education approach
 
MONTVALE, N.J. - Mercedes-Benz USA announces today that in late 2011 it is planning to
offer driver’s education with the aim of teaching teenagers the skills and competencies for safe
and enjoyable driving.
        At the core of Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is an innovative driver’s education
approach that reflects the best teaching methods from around the world that is currently being
finalized and specifically tailored to the U.S. environment.
        The research-based approach is being designed to improve the effectiveness of time spent
in the classroom, online, and behind-the-wheel. The goal of the Mercedes-Benz Driving
Academy is to prepare students for today’s driving environment by going beyond basic car
control skills and rote learning of traffic rules.
        Research clearly identifies that the standard U.S. formula of 30-hour in-class education
followed sequentially by 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training cannot reasonably be expected to
transform a non-driver into a safe driver1.
        “Despite the dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment over
the past 60 years, driver education remains relatively unchanged in the U.S.,” said Alexander
Hobbach, Senior Manager, 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 recognizes this issue and
as a result is creating an educational program for the U.S. that is based on the best teaching
methods and tools available.”
        Mercedes-Benz has been working with international driver education experts to develop
an innovative curriculum-based program. A Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the U.K. was
launched for the first time in 2009 based on this curriculum and since then 4,500 students have
enrolled in the program. Amongst those who already obtained their driver’s license and
participated in the program, had a first-time pass rate of 79 percent – nearly double the U.K.
national average of 43 percent.
        Mercedes-Benz is combining insights and key elements of the U.K. curriculum and
delivery methods with U.S. DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) requirements to develop the
integrated program that is going to be offered at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the U.S.
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 U.S.
        “As a company, we have a long history and continuous efforts to improve vehicle safety
so the Driving Academy is a natural extension of Mercedes-Benz desire to achieve accident-free
driving,” said Hobbach. “With only 10 percent of crashes being a result of technical failure and
90 percent due to human error, Mercedes-Benz sees an opportunity to actively improve drivers’
skills, focusing first on novice drivers, who are most at risk on U.S. roads.”
        It is well known that there is a disproportionately high driving incident rate among teen
novice drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention motor vehicle
crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. 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
U.S. That is why many organizations and experts are seeking ways of improving driver’s
education.
        “Driving is one of the most important skills that a teen can learn, and it is extremely
important that parents do their research before sending their child to a driving school,” said
Daniel R. Mayhew, Senior Vice President, Traffic Injury Research Foundation. “Getting parents
and teens working together is one crucial step among many that can better prepare beginner
drivers.”
           Due to the alarming rate of teen deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions, national and
state legislators, regulators, law enforcement, public agencies and other safety advocates have
worked hard over recent decades to find ways to reduce the number of fatal and serious injury
crashes on our highways for decades. In fact, Mercedes-Benz is also finalizing plans to work
with leading driver safety advocacy organizations and law enforcement to create a public service
outreach program that emphasizes safe driving and driver’s education.
           Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy’s approach also seeks to achieve greater compliance
with policies that have successfully been implemented to increase driver’s safety such as the
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) rules. The GDL framework provides for compulsory driver’s
education, combining classroom or online learning, on-road training, mandatory supervised
practice, and restricted driving privileges once a novice driver starts driving solo. By using an
integrated program to reinforce learning points throughout the learner driver period, as well as
involving parents in the process, the students can realize greater benefits of GDL.

1
    (a) P.F. Waller, “Driver Education: Can Its Goals Be Met?” Perception, Vol. 8, No. 6 (1975).
(b) P.F. Waller, “The Genesis of GDL”, Journal of Safety Research, Vol. 34 (2003): 17-
23.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the

distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the

United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 12

model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and the SLS AMG

supercar.



MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-

Benz Sprinter Vans in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at

www.mbusa.com and www.mbsprinterusa.com.


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