Crash took my Confidence: How I got it back

Earlier in 2016 I worked with a crash survivor who needed help building confidence after a scary incident. After working with her privately and having her join our CarControlSchool, here’s what she had to say about us along with the story of what led up to her meeting us:

“In June of this year, after 35 years of incident-free driving, I was in a high-speed collision on the 403 when a car – traveling recklessly over the speed limit – careened into our lane as the driver attempted a last-minute lane change in a distracted attempt to exit the highway on a nearby off-ramp. He succeeded, but not as he’d intended. He veered off the highway in front of us into the ditch in a nose-over-tail flip and impacted our car in the process.  As he did, I lost control of my vehicle with my 88 year-old mom in the passenger seat beside me.

I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t know what had hit me and I didn’t know how to react.  Quite simply, I thought it was game over.

Happily, my mom and I survived that collision, as did the driver of the other vehicle.   After having my car repaired, however, I had a new problem: I could no longer comfortably (or even uncomfortably for that matter) drive on the highway.  I felt as if my car was going to be impacted by every passing vehicle and I became incapacitated with anxiety.  Driving home from Muskoka later that same month, I actually needed to exit the highway and drive home on the back roads. Arriving home 7 hours later I decided that I needed some help. I did an online search for “car” and “control” and that’s where Ian Law and Shaun de Jager stepped into the picture.

The IRL Car Control School – led by Chief Instructor Ian Law – specializes in ProActive driver training.  Shortly after my collision, I attended their in-depth daylong program, which lived up to their promise of providing the highest level of defensive driver education in North American.  The program was divided into in-class lessons and in-car sessions. Both the lessons and the practical driving sessions were invaluable.

The in-class lessons were led by Instructor Shaun de Jager  (more on Shaun later) who managed the near-impossible task of making an entire Saturday of learning FUN.  Think of the technical expertise of Lewis Hamilton presented with the deadpan comedic timing of Bob Newhart, combined with the physical hilarity of Rowan Atkinson, all delivered by a professional driving instructor and you’ve got Shaun de Jager.  The in-car lessons were taught by the IRL Car Control’s team of highly skilled and personable instructors through a series of individual one-on- one sessions in the student’s’ own cars. Throughout the daylong program, I learned things I didn’t know; I relearned things I should have known.  And I learned things I never could have known. I finished my day of instruction wondering how any driver should be licensed to drive without this critical level of instruction and knowledge.

To complement my program at the IRL Car Control School, I did two hours of highway instruction in my own vehicle with Shaun de Jager (instructor extraordinaire at the Car Control School).  In addition to being a classroom instructor, Shaun is a road safety specialist and professional driving instructor (oh yes, and an award winning race car driver) who also offers individual driver training for an entire spectrum of driving situations and needs.  Over the two hours of instruction in my car, Shaun focused on vehicle control with all instruction specifically tailored to my situation and needs.  Shaun provided me with a series of invaluable tips and tools to help me feel and be in better control of my vehicle.   These are tools which I now employ daily and which I’ll have for the rest of my driving days.  I now would see a potential collision in the making.  And I now would know how to react.

Thank you IRL Car Control School. Thank you Ian Law.  Thank you Shaun de Jager.  Not only has every student that you’ve ever taught benefited from your instruction, but every other driver on the road that your students have driven with has unknowingly benefited from your instruction too.  You’re making our roads safer, one student at a time.” -Wendy M

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