About Mike

Michael Mercadante, founder of Modern Driver Institute and currently its sole instructor, is a professional defensive driving instructor licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  A subject matter expert with an academic background in educational psychology and years of teaching experience, he teaches defensive driving skills from a cognitive/behavioral perspective, and specializes in working with individuals with autism, anxiety, AD/HD, panic attacks, bipolar disorder and various other conditions which require additional expertise and attention.

Mike holds a Master’s degree in Psychology, with a specialization in Educational Psychology.  He is currently working on his Ph.D in Psychology.  He is writing a book about driving on the spectrum.

In addition to teaching hundreds of people behind the wheel and classroom driver education since 2011, Mike’s other teaching experience includes time as an adjunct college professor, a teen programs coordinator and a kindergarten teacher.

Prior  to becoming a driving instructor, Mike spent nearly eight years working in traffic safety research on projects for a variety of private and government clients such as NHTSA, AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety, FMCSA, and PennDOT (including revising and updating the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual).  He specialized in developing educational materials and utilizing driving simulators to train teens and seniors to be better, safer drivers.  Read more about his publications here.

Mike is also an award-winning filmmaker, accomplished artist and published writer.  He flies hot air balloons,  has performed precision driving maneuvers in a Hollywood film, and enjoys competing in regional rally and autocross events.  He brings this creativity and desire for precision control to every lesson.

He and his wife, Erica, have three children: Georgia Rose (9), Giovanni Danger (7) and Sadie Grace (3).

A few of Mike’s certifications are below:


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