Deadly accident prompts defensive driving lessons

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

“Seeing all these car accidents, it makes you really think it could happen to me,” said Madison Ammerman. 

She’s learning how to drive at the Wichita Driving School. She and Kennedy Johnson spent their lesson Thursday learning how to drive through the site of Wednesday’s triple fatality accident on Highway 254.  It was a special lesson in high speed defensive driving.

“Keep your brake covered. Keep it covered, keep it covered. Watch him.. watch him…”

Driving instructor Mike Johnson went over every step the students needed to think about to stasy safe’

“Now you’ve got the yellow car slowing down, but the white car’s coming fast,” he said.

Johnson, owner of the Wichita Driving School, says he knew it was important to bring his students out to Highway 254 Thursday, in hopes it would help them better remember the defensive driving techniques he teaches.

“Everybody likes cruise, but if you have people facing in,” he told Madison as they approached an intersection, “you don’t necessarily want to use cruise control.  So, is there anybody facing in on our side yet?”

“No,” she said.

Johnson teaches his students to turn off the cruise control, cut their speed by about 10 miles an hour, and watch for other cars at every intersection on a highway like 254, one without on and off ramps.

He says in the city, accidents will most likely be fender benders.  It’s a different story out on high speed rural roads and highways.

“Out here, you might get killed,” he said.

It’s a lesson his students say was scary.

“Watch him!” Mike warned Madison about a white truck pulling out from Greenwich onto Highway 254.  “Now, he actually turned next to us.  I would have waited a little longer if I was the white truck.”

The students say it was also an important lesson, something that will stick with them.

“Really pay attention to what other people are doing, not just you,” said Madison about what she learned.  “Cause you don’t know what they’re going to do.”

A big part of the lesson, not every driver follows the rules.

“They do follow most of them,” Kennedy said about what she learned.  “But a lot of times one can slip through your fingers and all of a sudden you’re in a crash.”

That’s another part of the lesson they learned on Thursday, a lesson designed to save their lives.

“Most people think they’re really good drivers,” Johnson said.  “But in reality it’s maybe 3 out of 10 that are really top notch”

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