Our BTW program was created by Don Corthell, a 40+ year veteran of the driving industry. He’s passionate about driving and designed the training of our instructors and the routes to accomplish as much as possible in the state-mandated six hour time frame. He’s currently the Assistant Transit Manager for the Buff Bus program at the University of Colorado where he teaches college students to drive buses—up to 62 feet long—for the campus transit program and all classes of Commercial Driver’s Licenses. We’re lucky to have him on our staff as well. He’s certified as a Defensive Driving Instructor and is a Commercial Driver’s License instructor and tester. Don also has certifications from the Department of Transportation Safety Institute in Safety, Training, Operations, and advance accident investigation.
An Overview of each Session and our Routes
Session 1: For complete novices who have never driven before, we start in a parking lot with basic acceleration, braking and steering techniques. In this parking lot, we cover right and left turns and lane usage. Usually, within an hour, we can graduate to driving residential and urban roads. If this session goes well and the student is ready, we will move the student to the next route on their next drive.
Session 2: For students who have some familiarity with driving, we usually start on our second route which covers seven different driving environments: residential, rural, urban, roundabouts, two lane state highway, a short time on an interstate highway with no merging, school and construction zones. We also practice backing up out of parking spaces, U-turns, 3-point turns and single and multi-lane turns. There are controlled and uncontrolled intersections on all of our routes. If this session goes well and the student is ready, we will move the student to the next route on their next lesson.
Session 3: On this route, we cover mountain and canyon driving, rural and residential areas, and mall parking lots. We also cover the three different types of parking: angle, perpendicular and parallel parking. On this route, we have steep grades, many warning signs for speed management on curves and downhill grades and lots of scanning practice. If this session goes well and the student is ready, we will move the student to the next route on their next lesson.
Session 4: On this last drive, we go into Downtown Denver and up Lookout Mountain. This route covers steep grades, left and right switchbacks, one-way streets, heavier traffic in the Denver downtown commercial area, construction and school zones, as well as merging onto the interstate highway. We’ll practice right on red and left on red turns, multi-lane turns and navigating one-way streets.
Custom Driving Instruction
Additionally, we provide custom, tailor-made driving instruction for areas on which you want to concentrate. Perhaps you would like to learn how to drive more confidently at night? Maybe you’re frustrated by your parallel parking abilities? Are you nervous about driving downtown or on the highway? Let us know and we can create a route and lesson that addresses your particular concerns.