Murphy Sisters Foundation

Skid Schools

Sponsored SkidSchool Sessions Test Murphy Laws of Safe Driving

NORTHBOROUGH AND SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – June 8, 2006 – Last Saturday, 30 teens from Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) – with racecar drivers at their side – practiced panic stops, nailed emergency lane changes, and wove their way through a slalom course for hours in the pouring rain – all in the name of Shauna and Meghan Murphy.

“SkidSchool was well worth it,” ARHS student Anne Hartwell told her mother, Arlene, following the special sponsored four-hour, hands-on course in accident avoidance techniques.

The Murphy Sisters Foundation, established in memory of ARHS students Shauna and Meghan Murphy, who died tragically in a car accident last October, teamed up with Wayside Ford of Marlborough and the not-for-profit Massachusetts Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation to sponsor a day – two, four-hour sessions – of SkidSchool in North Andover on Saturday, June 3. The students met at Wayside Ford prior to both sessions, where they took the bus from the dealership to the training site.          

Summer King of Northborough attended the afternoon session with her sons, Robert, 18, and Allen, 19.

“After we got home I asked both if they thought it was worthwhile and they said absolutely. I thought that was really good to hear,” said Summer.

“If I do get into an [emergency situation], I’ll have a much better understanding of what I should do,” said Allen King after his SkidSchool session.

Launched by the Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit organization funded by Massachusetts auto dealers, SkidSchool has enrolled more than 3,000 Massachusetts teenagers – more than 1,000 last year – in its lifesaving student safe driving program and plans to train more than 1,500 teens in 2006.

“You’re more likely to crash on the first day you drive than any other day until you reach your mid-80s. Where are those crashes coming from? We believe they’re coming from inexperience,” says Sandy Stevens of Stevens Advanced Driver Training, the company that runs SkidSchool at five Massachusetts sites. Stevens adapted his safe driving curriculum for State Police and EMTs to develop a program tailored to teenagers.

More than 43 percent of 16-year-olds are involved in a car accident within their first year of driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

While the Foundation subsidizes each teen’s enrollment, outside sponsorship allows teens to take the $300 course for only $175 after the sponsor-rebate. The Murphy Sisters Foundation will team up with Honda North of Danvers to sponsor SkidSchool later this year. For more information please call (617) 451-1051, visit or e-mail The Massachusetts Auto Dealers Charitable Foundation – a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization – was established in 1997 to fund a variety of educational programs. In 2001, it launched SkidSchool as part of its education mission and community outreach.

Contact: Martha Bartle
Tel: (617) 451-1051;

Take your driver's ed learning experience to the next level by learning how to react to actual driving scenarios.  Get behind the wheel at Skid School and encounter the road in a safe environment.  Skid School is offered in Massachusetts by the following organizations:

MSADA - Skid School

Stevens Advanced Driver Training

In Control...Advanced Driver Training


In Drivers Ed I was taught how to three point turn, when to adjust my rearview mirror, and I attempted to parallel park. These skills are important in learning how to operate a vehicle and understanding the basic rules of the road. However, Drivers Ed fails to teach students how to be a truly safe and effective driver when it matters most. A Skid School, such as In Control, was able to teach me, by hands-on experience, how to react in a compromising situation on the road. Many of the students, myself included, were unaware of how to correctly use anti-lock brakes. By actually getting in a car and being put in a scenario where I needed to brake quickly, I was able to get comfortable with the ABS and learn how to brake appropriately. Also, the instructors, who are all certified racecar drivers, taught us how to swerve, slalom, and brake at highway speed. The Skid School, through demonstration and real practice can teach a driver how to prevent an accident and be safe on the road."

Senior at Algonquin Regional High School
Age 18