Death by automobile

Parents don’t know or understand that the most probable way a person between the age of 16 and 21 is going to die is in a car!


42,000 plus deaths per year should demand our attention


Article Insert Box Every Student.jpgAs long as there are teenagers there will be schools that teach teens to drive--- but every once in a while you come across a school which is different, one that challenges teens beyond the limits of the common contemporary driver education such as how to turn left or how to control a skidding car, to a place where the emphasis is placed on attitude and talking with teens frankly about the life and death issues which effect us all. Where subjects such as Road Rage, Drugs, Alcohol, Speed and disobeying the very laws which are in place to protect people from harm and even death are seriously and repeatedly spoken of. The principle that every student in every class has great “individual value” and that every other person on the road has equal value is stressed to each student by teachings such as, “you are worth more than the whole world everything in the world, including the sun the moon and the stars”. This is used as a preface to teach why it is so important to drive safe, “think about what you have to gain by driving correctly, and what you can lose by driving carelessly. And God forbid should someone die --- what in the world could you ever pay to get them back? Everything is not enough!” This is taught often by owners Jon Swaino and Dave Scarpino of Best Defense Driving Academy. “My main focus and hope is to reach teens and instill in them seriousness – value - caring and defensive thinking which will help save lives - and that is our goal. We have taught messages like this one hard and often.””, says Dave Scarpino at Best Defense. “


Number one reason given for crashes today is driver error.

Nothing earth shattering or new, our teens are young and inexperienced, and when you combine this with risk taking and distraction which often occurs behind the wheel, you raise the potential for tragedy. According to statistics an automobile crash is the number one most likely way a person between the age of 16 and 21 is going to die. You might be surprised to know that cell phones are killing young and old alike. The term Driving While Distracted (DWD) and Driving While Texting (DWT) describe two of the most lethal and most common causes for teen crashes and deaths. It is our recommendation to parents that use of cell phones be strictly limited to non-drive-times for both teens and adults. This may sound radical to you but the facts overwhelmingly support this position. None of us can safely drive a car and at the same time talk or text on a cell phone. It cannot be done! Another danger to watch for is when you get any more than 2 teens in a car on a Friday or Saturday night – this is a recipe for disaster. Being distracted by any little thing can be devastating. Dave says: “When you consider that 85% of all crashes are directly related to driver error then there is hope because that means with a proper attitude during driving you can greatly reduce the chances of being involved in a crash. We want the students to learn to be a Dr. Jekyll in the vehicle calm- cool- composed and let Mr. Hyde come out at the football and basketball games crazy- loud- playful. Hyde does not belong in the car as a driver or as a passenger!”


Alcohol is a killer and not just in the car.

Talk about a reason to go to war! Did you know that 42,643 people needlessly died on our nations highways in 2003, and 17,013 of those deaths were directly related to alcohol use. Dave says, “You can’t blame the car! It is error on the part of teens and adults to assume that somehow drinking will be ok as long as you don’t add the car. That’s plain foolishness. Alcohol destroys lives and kills people with or without a car! We take a strong stance because we see young lives being destroyed and we will fight for their lives even if it’s unpopular, they are worth it!” In one of the classes a student offered an account from her own life saying: “After getting drunk my uncle did the right thing and walked home instead of driving, and on his way home he was struck by a car and killed as he stumbled into the street.” Think about it! Dave says: “As bad as the problem of alcohol is it is not the only problem facing our young people. Not getting enough sleep ranks at the top and kills just as sure and just like drinking it is preventable.”


Road Rage

There is no place on the road for anger, rage, short tempers and impoliteness. Road Rage is getting out of hand and many states are looking into new laws which will help curb this unacceptable behavior. Dr. Leon James Ph.D., a noted psychologist says there are as many as 400 billion acts of aggression exchanged on the road annually. Before you say but that is the other guy not me consider some of actions which are considered Road Rage: Tailgating, Speeding, Hand Gestures, Saying something Rude to another driver, trying to Control another, being bothered by another driver who is going to slow and many more. The truth is we wouldn’t yell at a little old lady going slowly through a doorway at the mall, we would most likely seek to help her, but in our cars we scream, throw fits, and that’s wrong. At Best Defense we try hard to teach our young new drivers to care about the other people on the road as much as they would care about themselves or a dear family member, like mom or dad, or grandma and grandpa. Imparting the value of each individual on the road: “It is not enough to just teach the mechanics of safe driving to our teens, as important as that is, they need more. On today’s congested roads fast cars, road rage, and the confusion concerning alcohol and drug use--- don’t mix. Our teens need straight talk about improper attitude and behavior which will endanger there lives. We need to demonstrate to teens, not just lecture them. Helping them to see how sharing the road in polite and caring ways will make for safer and more enjoyable driving but the most important message we can give them is one of their worth.” says Dave.


This is our way of introducing ourselves to you. We are a company owned and operated by two very caring individuals.



Jon Swaino and Dave Scarpino