Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some answers to common questions you may have about the program. If you do not see an answer to a question you have, please contact us.

How long do Tire Rack Street Survival events last?
This is a one-day class. Most start early in the morning and end late in the afternoon (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

What will we be doing in a Tire Rack Street Survival event?

The day is a mixture of classroom and in-car exercises with a coach in the car at all times with the student.  They spend a total of about 2 hours in 3 different classroom sessions and the rest of the time they are in their car.  When driving the student is put though a collection of exercises based on real world scenarios while driving their own car. They work on skid control on a wet skid pad; go through a lane change / accident avoidance maneuvers; threshold breaking / ABS exercises; they drive a slalom course to learn about weight transfer.  Where possible we do a 2 wheels off exercise and a tail gating exercise.  In the classroom they learn about proper seating position and hand positions, mirror placement, the concept of the contact patch of their tires, the theories of weight transfer, the use of long distance vision and situational awareness.  We talk about the challenges of distractions to the driver, be it the radio / I-pods or cell phones for talking or texting or just the simple cause of too many teens in the car. Where possible we stage a semi truck on site and park cars around it to simulate highway driving.  We then have each student and all adults get into the cab and close the door to show how little the driver can see and how many of the cars are not visible to the driver.  We also may explode an air bag to reinforce what they learn in class about hand placement on the steering wheel.

The schedule varies at each location slightly but it’s a full day.  We feed all students, parents and volunteers lunch and have some educational demonstrations during that period as well.

How much is the course?
$75 per course, per person.

What if I don’t see my city listed here?

The schools are facilitated by chapters of the BMW Car Club of America, the Sports Car Club of America, Porsche Club of America and other auto enthusiast clubs where a trained volunteer instructor base can be utilized. The schools are typically held the same time every year.  You can review the completed school list.  If you city isn’t listed the school might not be confirmed or open for registration yet.  You can review our tentative school schedule on our tentative school list. You can also been added to our database to receive an e-mail when the next school opens.  We send these emails out when you are within a 100 mile radius of the venue.

How many students attend each school?
The size of the school varies according to the size of each venue. We average 25 students per school with some schools holding over 40. If the class you are interested in is full please complete the registration, there will be no charge if to be placed on the wait list.  If there are no openings before the school you will remain in our database.  You will then receive an e-mail when the next school opens when you are within a 100 mile radius of the venue.

How do I know if there are openings available n a particular school?

We keep the school open for registration even if the class if full. When the class is full if you complete the registration process you will be placed on the wait list.  There is no charge for this. We typically have a few cancellations for every school. Once you are on the wait list and if you do not get in to that school you are in our database and will receive an email from us when  the next class opens within 100 miles of you zip code.  Please DO NOT call asking if there spots available.  Due to the phone call volume we receive we will not be able to return these calls

What is the minimum and maximum age a student can be to participate in a Tire Rack Street Survival school?
Licensed or permitted drivers, ages 15 to 21 are allowed in the program.

What are the requirements of “permitted students”?
Permitted drivers will be allowed in the Tire Rack Street Survival program IF

All conditions of the permit can be met in a safe manner, i.e. if the permit requires a licensed driver in the car at all times. These state requirements are intended for driving on public roads.  All of our schools do NOT drive on public roads so this requirement does not apply. BUT a coach will be in the car with the students whenever they are behind the wheel.

The driver must be a minimum of 15 years old (or the minimum age for the state issuing the permit).  We require that they have driven at least 25 hours before coming to the class. Also we would like them to have had a permit for a minimum of ½ the time required by the state holding jurisdiction over that permit, (not the state that the school is located in) i.e. if the permit must be held for 6 months before the driver can take their driving test, then the student must have had the permit a minimum of 3 months.

Who are the Coaches (Instructors)?

The coaches have years of experience having participated and instructed at driver education schools ranging from car control, winter driving or high performance driving schools, many on race tracks and enjoyed various disciplines of auto racing, rallying or competitive autocrossing.  All are volunteers. Tire Rack Street Survival is not a speed event, but these coaches have been exposed to all levels of car control and have the ability to communicate their experience in a manner that gets through to teens.

Does the Tire Rack Street Survival school provide vehicles to use in the event?
No. Students need to arrive in their own vehicle, or the one that they most frequently drive on a daily basis.

Do students have to drive a BMW?
No, absolutely not. We want students to participate in Tire Rack Street Survival® using the car they normally drive so they will understand the response characteristics of the car they drive daily.

Do parents have to attend?
While we cannot require that you come to the class we strongly suggest that you do.  We encourage you to sit in the classroom sessions and listen to those presentations.  Even though you have been driving for many years, we feel that there are things that you might learn from experiencing these with you new driver.  We also feel that the importance of driving education and seriousness of this issue is reinforced when your new driver sees you taking an active interest in what they are doing.

Do you have an adult program?
The purpose of this program is for training new drivers ages 15 to 21.  Occasionally if the school does not fill we will allow any age driver to register the last week before the school. This is not available at every school event, even if the school limit is not reached.

What kind of waivers need to be signed?

If a minor is coming to the event they must have their parents/guardian permission to do so.

Each student needs 2 signatures on a minor waiver form unless they live with only one parent/guardian and that parent/guardian has sole custody. If the parents/guardian can’t sign the document at the event in front of the officials, then they must have the waiver notarized beforehand.

If they have 2 parents/guardians and one parent/guardian won’t be there, then only that one must get the waiver notarized. The other will sign at the event in the morning.

Think about it this way.  If a minor is coming to the event they must have their parents/guardian permission and if you can’t sign the document at the event, in front of the event officials, then they must have it notarized prior to the event.

Can students share a vehicle?
If siblings are attending an event together, and the car they both drive on a daily basis is the same, most certainly.

What if I drive an SUV or Truck?
SUVs, SAVs, Trucks, Jeep-type vehicles, Minivans and other High Center of Gravity vehicles (HCG’s) will need to be verified before being allowed to participate.  Older HCG’s without electronic stability control (not just the electronic traction control) will not be accepted.

These vehicles can prove to be poor choices for first-time drivers, especially small SUVs and trucks.  Early models without traction and/or stability control have statistically proven to be unfortunate choices.  These vehicles tend to be light in the rear end and thus have a tendency to “fishtail” during panic stops or when the road is slick.  Even with four-wheel drive, pickups and SUVs are less stable, take longer to stop, and are generally more dangerous for a new driver.  Most are top heavy and can tip or roll over under severe maneuvers.  Less-experienced drivers may be more likely to use abrupt steering motions, that can cause rollovers. Please note that most older SUV and trucks are not rated the way cars are rated.  These vehicles are not required to meet the same crash standards as a passenger car.

Our goal is to conduct the safest and most rewarding experience for your teen driver.  Approved HCG Vehicles with electronic stability control may still be limited with respect to some of the exercises in which they are allowed to participate based on local venue conditions.

If your new driver operates one of these type of vehicles and would like to participate, please look up the vehicles safety score.

You can see their roll-over rating test at www.safercar.gov/Safety+Ratings.

This review is for HCG vehicles onlyPassenger cars do not need to be reviewed.

Any vehicle with a listing of 3 stars or more out of 5 in the “Roll Over” test will be allowed to participate in our class. We are concerned about the Roll Over test on the HCG only. We are not concerned about the crash test ratings.

Any HCG vehicle listed as “not rated” in the Roll Over test will not be allowed to participate.

Do students wear helmets?
No helmets are required at the schools. All exercises are low-speed events and coaches are in the student’s car at all times during these exercises.

Will I receive a discount from my auto insurance provider upon completion of a school?
Although there are no national blanket discounts available at this time, many auto insurance companies do recognize Tire Rack Street Survival as an educational program that can count towards premium discounts. Check with your auto insurer to find out more information.

What is the registration fee refund policy?
Refunds will be issued for cancellations up to the Thursday before the event. You must contact the school registrar and/or the BMW CCA Foundation National Office no later than 5 PM EST on the Thursday before the scheduled school.

Refunds will not be issued for cancellations after Thursday or for no shows. We have volunteers coming into town expecting to teach at the school and other students may have missed an opportunity to attend the school.