NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Two-million new teenage drivers will hit the roads this year. This a number that is both exciting and a little scary.

Now, one program called Driving Essentials is working to teach our teens to drive and have better reaction time, all while playing their Xbox.

It's simple. If you have an Xbox you can get the game and then you can start the program

There's ten lessons total, they teach decision-making and anticipation. Some of the lessons are how to drive in weather, with distractions, and or how to avoid hazards.

This allows students to learn and practice at their own pace in their home. Founder Bob Davis tells News4 that they make it interactive so that the kids want to continue to learn. There's even what he calls a “life bar” feature.

"As you drive through these virtual environments, if you do anything that is less safe not even dangerous but less safe…If the light turns green and you hit the accelerator without looking left-right-left, your life bar goes down, so kids immediately say, ‘wait a minute, why’d my score go down?’” said Davis, “And then they say, ‘oh that's right, I was supposed to look left-right-left, because to get the Xbox Achievements you have to score at least 80 percent on every one of the lessons.”

And for those that don't know, those achievements affect your gamer score, which is important to avid Xboxers.

So what makes this game different from other driving games?

"None of them follow traffic laws, not even close,” said Davis, “You’re hitting things, you’re going off roads, you’re accelerating, you’re drifting… all those things when it comes to driving are exactly the opposite of what you want their natural reactions to be. This is about building really good habits in complex situations."

For more about this program, click here.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Bethany Reese joined News4 at a reporter in October 2018.

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