The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Top Driver Brings Revolutionary Driver Education to Southpark Center

11 June 1998

Top Driver Brings Revolutionary Driver Education to Southpark Center
    STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, June 11 -- Recognizing the need to
improve driving skills and driver education, coupled with the elimination of
driver education from many high school curriculums, Chevrolet and MetLife Auto
have teamed up with Top Driver, a New York-based driver education company, to
revolutionize the industry and open state-of-the-art training centers in
shopping malls across the country.  The first center opened in Trumbull,
Connecticut in November 1997.  The latest in the planned expansion of more
than 200 locations is SouthPark Center in Strongsville, Ohio.
    Fueled by a curriculum developed from research contributed by the nation's
leading driving and safety organizations, including the AAA Foundation for
Traffic Safety and endorsed by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD),
Top Driver fills a real need in the multi-billion dollar driver education
industry with standardized superior driver education.
    Top Driver is the first in the industry to combine driver education
programs, Department of Motor Vehicle Services, automotive products, financing
information, insurance services, and driver accessories in a single, easily
accessible location.
    Top Driver offers a full range of driving courses for novice and defensive
drivers, as well as corporate fleet programs.  The comprehensive education
program employs a multi-media approach that incorporates certified classroom
instruction with touch screen computer training.  Students participate in a
series of fully animated learning exercises and virtual driving scenarios
using three dimensional computer generated images.  On-road coaching is
conducted in brand new Chevrolets with dual controls and complimentary
door-to-door service.
    A MetLife Auto insurance representative at each Top Driver location offers
auto insurance discounts of up to 20 percent for three years to Top Driver
graduates.  "Top Driver helps us to achieve our goal to expand our role in
safety education in the United States," said Daniel J. Cavanaugh, President
and CEO of MetLife Auto.
    Citing research from the American Motor Vehicle Association indicating
94 percent of all fatal crashes and more than $170 billion in losses annually
are the result of driver error, John  Kelley, Chevrolet's Director of
Marketing Services, explained the importance of bringing driving skills in
sync with the safety and proficiency needs of today.
    "At Chevrolet, we believe there is a large untapped opportunity to improve
driver skills as the next frontier in automotive safety.  We are proud to join
forces with Top Driver and MetLife Auto to help make our roadways safer for
everyone," Kelly said.
    The Chevrolet sponsorship also allows GMAC Financial Services and GM
OnStar to be featured in each Top Driver location.  Previews from GMAC and
safety-related-in-vehicle communications services will be available via
interactive kiosks.
    Top Driver is endorsed by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD),
the nation's largest student organization dedicated to safety.  This support
further ensures the credibility of  Top Driver's mission.
    Furthermore, McDonalds will participate in a nationwide work-study
program, whereby students needing financial assistance for Top Driver's
courses will be directed to the local McDonalds for potential employment.
    "By bundling the gamut of automobile related services, from instruction
through licensing, from safety accessories to financing and insurability, we
are positioning Top Driver as the benchmark for comprehensive driver
resources," said co-founders Mort Goldberg and Dan Davidson.  "Top Driver's
strategic partnership with Chevrolet and MetLife Auto is extraordinary and is
driven by our shared mission to change the way people think about learning to
drive in this country.  Our goal is to raise awareness and ultimately, save