Missouri's First Hospital With Driver's Ed

October 13, 2011

Mercy Hospital is the first in Missouri

to offer driver's education.

Injuries to teen drivers and their passengers are a leading cause of trauma admission at Mercy Hospital Springfield, Missouri’s largest trauma center. Several schools in southwest Missouri no longer have driver’s education as part of their curriculum, which means fewer students have access to the potentially lifesaving education.  Mercy/Kohl’s Injury Prevention Center, part of Mercy’s Level I Trauma Center in Springfield has stepped in to help fill that void by offering teen driving lessons. 

The lessons are different than traditional driver’s education because the lessons are taught one-on-one with a certified driving instructor.  The curriculum, unique to the program, is level-building, meaning the student driver must meet all of the objectives in each lesson before progressing through the program.  This results in a more capable driver than traditional driver’s education.  The program employs seven certified driving instructors and has two training vehicles. 

“This program was created to provide accessible driver’s education to newly permitted teen drivers as a means to produce competent vehicle operators,” said Pam Holt, Injury Prevention Program Coordinator.

The program also offers driving lessons for adults who need to obtain a driver’s license.  Driver improvement lessons for adults and teens that already have a driver’s license, but need additional driver training are also available. 

Scheduling is flexible.  Lessons are provided during the day, after school and on Saturdays. For more information or to register for driving lessons please call Mercy’s Injury Prevention Center at 417-820-7233 or visit our Teen Driving page.

The driving lesson program was created in 2010 and was made possible through a grant from Kohl’s Department Stores and the Kohl’s Cares program.  Now in its second year of operation, the program has taught 275 students how to drive with 95 percent of the students successfully passing their driving test. 

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