Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional deaths and hospitalizations for teens ages 15-19 in the state of New York. Every year, about 73 teens are killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to the New York Department of Health.
Jim Chodan, a lifelong Bronx resident who has taught more than 100,000 teens to drive during his 40-year career, is trying to combat teen motor vehicle deaths by teaching teens about driving safety in a unique way, the New York Times reported.
He combines philosophy, physics and street smarts in his teaching. No one is allowed to sleep in the five-hour class, which students are required to take before their road test to obtain a driver’s license. And with his method of teaching, no one probably could sleep.
In his class, he talks to students about road rage and urges students to maintain “what Freud called a friendly attitude to humanity” while driving. He tells the students to remember an important mantra: “Let the fool go.”
He addresses the dangers of speeding, using Sir Isaac Newton’s theories concerning velocity. He explains that if brakes stop working, the driver should pump them because brakes work on hydraulics.
He discusses Curie, Pasteur, Einstein, Voltaire and Whitman, “who walked these streets.” He recites a Yeats poem and describes his own extensive training in karate and jujitsu.
Fittingly, he advises students that “the last thing you want to do is get disagreeable with a Brooklyn cop.” He also discusses Miranda rights and says, “If you want to confess, go to church — never confess to a police officer, and don’t let a police officer jive you.”
At the end of class, he reminds students to wear seat belts and keep child passengers safe, and he recites sections about children from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. He also discusses the importance of organ donation.
In addition to being taught information that will probably boost their SAT scores, students learn valuable driving lessons with a unique twist from a dedicated teacher. Chodan told the Times that he plans to teach driving until he dies.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, please contact the New York City personal injury law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., to discuss your right to compensation. Call 212-279-2000 or send us a quick message.
Source: New York Department of Health