Teen Defensive Driving

City of Holland Michigan Official Website

2015 Class openings available TBA


Future classes are currently being scheduled

Teen Defensive Driving School
 at Johnson Controls (JCI),  on E. 32nd (east of the Fire Station)


Teenagers and young adults aged 15-20 are disproportionately involved in motor vehicle crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens aged 16-20 in the United States with nearly 4,000 crash related deaths a year (National Safety Council). 85 percent of crashes by 16 year old drivers are attributed to driver error, not speed, drugs or alcohol. Locally, in 2009, teenagers accounted for 17 percent of crashes in Ottawa and Allegan county; 12 percent of those teens report driver injury or fatalities. Comparatively, the 16-20 year old drivers in the City of Holland account for 13 percent of the total crashes reported in 2009 with 9 percent of those drivers reporting injury.  Watch the video!


To provide teen drivers that posses a valid driver’s license or driving permit, a program that will enhance their driving behavior in an effort to reduce the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.

Our goal for this program is to prepare the students with how to react mentally and physically to differing driving situations. Using a “hands on” approach we will teach the teen drivers how to react under various driving situations. Three (3) different defensive driving exercises will be demonstrated and then completed by each student. This will allow each student to better understand the importance of being a defensive driver. Each student will be trained by a Michigan State Police Certified driving instructor from the Holland Police Department. The vehicles used will be from Seeyle Wright Kia of Holland, with strict maintenance requirements to ensure vehicle and student safety.

Driving behavior modification will come from “behind the wheel” experience in a controlled environment. We also want that behind the wheel experience to be a learned motor-skill for the students, keeping with the “Practice like You Play” concept.

Driving skills taught will be progressive in nature, re-enforcing the skills learned through out the day, and keeping each student one step above his/her comfort level. This helps the skills to become reactionary in nature rather than being a thought process.

In cooperation with the consent of parents and student drivers, we hope to track the students driving records to gage the effectiveness of the program. The students and parents will also have email and telephone access to the Holland Police Department driving instructors to report any situations where the learned skills were employed by the students.

With the help of community partnerships, this class will be given to 14-16 students, four times a year, free of charge.

Defensive Driving Exercises:

  • Evasive Maneuvering - Simulate avoidance of a sudden obstacle, by maneuvering without braking
  • Controlled Braking - Sudden braking while turning, controlling the direction of the vehicle
  • Serpentine - Coordination of acceleration, steering movements, and relationship of objects to the vehicle

Other Exercises:

Distracted & Drunk Driving Courses:
These exercises will be taught by certified driving instructors from the Macatawa Driving School (MDS) using vehicles fully equipped with passenger side brakes. Students will drive an obstacle course while wearing “drunk goggles” and will also be challenged to control the vehicle while experiencing various distractions.

Driving Simulator:
Practice your defensive driving skills on a computerized driving simulator.
A presentation will be given to each participant by Ofc. Doug VanderKooy from the Racing Through Education Program, stressing the importance of limiting the amount of distractions in the vehicle and the possible results of having such distractions.


Lori Boeve
89 W. 8th St.
Holland, MI   49423
(616) 355-1140