Update: The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has three spots left for the Teen Driver Challenge. Student applicants need to submit a copy of their Driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle they will be using. The application deadline is tomorrow, September 11th at 5p.m. If there are any questions, please call Annie Austin at 352-797-3660.

The teen driver challenge is back! Join Sheriff Al Neinhuis and the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the Florida Sheriffs Association in a day of learning to drive like a pro. The teen driver challenge is free of charge to Hernando County teenagers.

The Teen Driver Challenge is a defensive driving and vehicle control program designed for licensed teenage drivers.  

The program is designed to provide young drivers, age 16, 17, and 18, with the knowledge and understanding of vehicle dynamics and human kinetics, the forces created by an automobile and the effects of those forces on the human body.

The next Teen Driver Challenge is being held on Friday, 09-13-19 from 8 AM to 5 PM at the Pasco Hernando State College East Campus, located at 36727 Blanton Road, Dade City 33523.

IMPORTANT – The classroom AND driving portions of the class are BOTH being offered during this eight-hour session.

Only 10 students are allowed per session.  If you are interested in this FREE program and are a Hernando County student/resident with a valid driver’s license, please call for more information at 352-797-3660. You may also click the link to open and download a printable application: Teen Driver Applications_2016

About the program

The Florida Sheriffs Association’s Teen Driver Challenge (TDC) was created in 2007 to address the primary factors affecting teen drivers – speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting while driving and distracted driving. The program is offered at no cost to teen drivers in 39 counties across the state and led by sheriffs’ deputies licensed as commercial driving school instructors. More than 2,000 students participate in a TDC course each year, with the demand for course participation often outweighing availability.

How much is this program needed? According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Motor Vehicle Safety division, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. Roughly 25 to 30 percent of teen drivers will be involved in a crash within the first 12 months of getting their operator’s license. The Teen Driver Challenge was created to help prevent Florida teens from becoming a statistic.

TDC students are required to have a Florida Learner’s Permit or a valid Florida Operator’s License and have use of an automobile they usually operate during the driving exercises. The class will consist of lecture and driving exercises. Please note: the Teen Driver Challenge is not a supplemental or advanced driving course, it is a defensive driving program that covers various topics including:

  • Teen crash facts
  • Knowing your vehicle
  • Using your senses
  • Vehicle dynamics
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Aggressive driving and road rage
  • Figure 8
  • Threshold/Emergency Braking
  • Backing
  • Cornering
  • Forward and reverse serpentine
  • Off road recovery
  • Evasive maneuvers
  • Skid control