Auto Cross event teaches safety behind the wheel


A competition and a speedy way to teach people about driver safety. It comes at an important time of the year, during the 100 deadliest days of summer. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, already this year close to 500 deaths from car crashes on Illinois roadways.

Devin Niederbrach isn't old enough to drive but he will be in one week.

"Devin's turning 16 on the twenty-first," said Devin's dad Joe Niederbrach.


So he took his son to the Champaign County sports Car Club auto cross event at Richland Community College.

"I wanted to expose him to a new sport, controlled environment," Joe said, where Devin could learn about driving skills and how to handle a car.

"It gets your adrenaline going," Devin exclaimed. "It's amazing," and educational. "The stuff you can do with a car because I don't know any of this stuff," he explained.

Drivers weaved through cones and made turns at speeds around forty miles per hour, an experienced driver handled the turns, but still, distractions like talking could be costly to peoples' safety. Cell phones were not allowed anywhere on the course. The driver had to keep his eyes on the road the entire time.

"It's all about teaching drivers what the limits of their cars are, getting them comfortable at those limits so they can handle an event on the streets when they are suddenly thrown into those limits," said Safety Chair of the club Greg Lukach.

And in seven days, Devin will see if what he learned will steer him in the right direction.

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