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Mercedes-Benz plans teen-driving school

Wed, 23 Mar 2011

Mercedes-Benz plans to open a driving school for teens in the United States late this year. The school will be modeled on one that Mercedes launched in the United Kingdom in 2009.

The location of the school and the program cost won't be disclosed until the end of April, a company spokesman said.

Mercedes cites research indicating the standard U.S. formula of 30 hours of in-class education and six hours of behind-the-wheel training does not effectively turn nondrivers into safe drivers.

As car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy aims to prepare students for the road by teaching skills beyond basic car control.

The U.K. driving academy was started with a curriculum Mercedes developed in tandem with international driver-education experts. The school has since enrolled 4,500 students, and the pass rate was nearly double the U.K. national average.

Mercedes is developing a new curriculum for 2011 based on insights from the U.K. program and requirements from the U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles.

By Michelle Koueiter