Experience: Driver Education

While working in the field of traffic safety research, Michael helped develop one of the first CD-ROM based novice driver education programs approved in the state of Pennsylvania.  This was done between 1999 and 2003 for a company called Safe Drive Technologies, and included:

  • onscreen text development and rewrites
  • development of hundreds of illustrative photographs
  • development of dozens of illustrative videos
  • recording voice-over audio narration for simulator drives and theory program
  • development of dozens of driving simulator training scenarios

In 2003, Michael developed multimedia assets, including scripts, videos, voice-over narration and soundtrack music, for a web-based software program designed to allow older drivers to evaluate their own ability to drive safely. The product, called “Roadwise Review”, was developed for and released to the public by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In 2005, Michael provided script revisions, voice-over narration and Flash animation to an online course for novice drivers entitled “Killer Curves”, designed to teach teens about the dangers of curves.

In 2006, Michael served as part of the team chosen to revise and update the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual, under contract for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  He directly contributed text revisions, photographs and original illustrations, some of which remain in the most recent version of the book more than a decade later.

Between 2011 and 2014, Michael worked full-time as a professional driving instructor for an established regional driving school in Pennsylvania.  During this time, he completed nearly 3,000 behind-the-wheel teaching hours, and nearly 600 classroom teaching hours.  His contributions represented 44% of the total activity of the school, despite being one of seven licensed instructors on staff.  During this time, he began earnestly working with individuals with cognitive/affective disorders, developmental disorders, brain trauma and learning disabilities.  He taught classroom programs for novice drivers at Montgomery County Community College, Lansdale Catholic High School and in-house at the driving school.  He was also a certified National Safety Council instructor, and taught NSC defensive driving courses (DDC-4, DDC 6 and Alive At 25).

Michael launched Modern Driver Institute in 2014, in fulfillment of a personal desire to specialize in working with novice drivers with cognitive and developmental disorders.  Modern Driver Institute remains a one-of-a-kind driving school, and has successfully taught many students how to drive safely over the past few years.

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