Classic Drivers Ed Safety Training Films

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Classic Drivers Ed Safety Training Films

Have you ever seen video clips from classic driver education films? These were the somewhat corny, old time movies shown in driver ed and driving school to teach former American generations about defensive driving training, driver safety and all the important rules of the road. They may have even been showing these vintage videos when you went through driving school or driver ed. Now is your chance to see all these classic movies on DVD! We have assembled the premiere collection of driver safety training and defensive driving films, digitized and placed on DVD format with full menus for your viewing pleasure. These eleven movies spanning from 1930 to 1958 are the cream of the crop driver education videos available. Driver education is something we can all relate to (assuming you drive a car) because everyone is required to go through driver safety training, whether through a high school program or an independent agency. While the rules of defensive driving and driver safety have not fundamentally changed over the last 50 years, the manner in which these rules are presented has changed drastically. These films were best designed to appeal to the young drivers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, so the approach seems hilariously outdated. This quality gives these movies an entertaining timelessness and value that makes them a must-see for future generations.

Included Films:

Driving Tips

Driving Tips

Produced: 1950s

Length: 18 Minutes

This is a classic 1950s driving etiquette film. The deadpan narrator discusses all aspects of proper and improper automobile operation: being pulled over, littering, following signals. The film is jam packed with vintage 50s cars and hot rods, as well as signs and other cultural signifiers. Theres also dated advice about picking up hitchhikers and how they may take advantage of the driver. A fun two part series that offers timeless advice, Driving Tips is a good classic video.


Chance To Lose

Chance To Lose

Produced: 1930s

Length: 10 Minutes

One of the best driving safety videos ever produced, The Chance to Lose is a fast paced and entertaining vintage film experience. Deftly equating aspects of casino gambling with reckless driving, the film is hard hitting newsreel-style video that features beautiful shots of classic cars as well as enjoyably campy acting. One highlight involves a cocky youngster and his date who crash into a pigpen! Fiendishly funny as well as action packed, The Chance to Lose is a keeper.


Live And Let Live

Live And Let Live

Produced: 1947

Length: 10 Minutes

To convey safe driving practices, Live and Let Live, a 1940s movie, illustrates many common sources of accidents in a scaled-down model town. As shown, passing improperly, speeding, drunk driving, and tailgating can cause road traffic accidents. Drunk driving accidents are the worst and the film describes how defensive driving techniques can help to keep everyone safe. While not all scenarios result in bad car accidents, there are still many close calls that are meant to encourage responsible driving and good driving habits. Live and Let Live provides excellent tips for safe driving while not resorting to gory car accident video clips.


Formations

Formations

Produced: 1936

Length: 8 Minutes

This Chevrolet sponsored driving education video advocates keeping an aerial view of the road in mind at all times as the best way to drive defensively. Using the story of Cinderella, Chevrolet replaces the carriage and horses with a dependable and safe Chevy car (now a vintage Chevrolet). The focus of the film, however, is the constant watching of nearby cars in order to remain a safe distance away from them and avoid an accident and promote safe highway driving. At the beginning of the film, fighter planes are shown in tight formations (early aviation footage), and the narrator comments that drivers too must constantly be aware of how close other cars are, just like the pilots are always aware of the position of other planes. To illustrate this point, miniatures of roads, cars, and drivers are manipulated on a tabletop in order to give the audience the aerial view of many common dangerous situations, such as merging and changing lanes, that might lead to a bad car accident. Safe driving habits are important and this driving video discourages aggressive driving and all forms of unsafe driving.


On The Run

On The Run

Produced: 1950s

Length: 27 Minutes

This 1950s film chronicles how four high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area molded safe teen drivers by participating in the Mobil (now Exxonmobil) Economy Run, a race whose objective was to drive around the city within a designated period of time while avoiding penalties like speeding or violating traffic laws. The driver would be accompanied by a professional racecar driver, who would give the teens advice on how to drive safely and save gas. Scenes of the kids dancing in a malt shop and driving around San Francisco in vintage hot rods, street rods, and rat rods is included, but the real gem in this film is the great footage of San Francisco itself, including the Golden Gate Bridge. California teen drivers education sure was fun in the 1950s, and On the Run provides the experience of San Francisco history as well as drag strip racing history and old school hot rods.


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The Other Fellow’s Feelings

Produced: 1937

Length: 8 Minutes

In 1937s The Other Fellow, classic comedian Edgar Kennedy (one of the original Keystone Cops) ditches his dangerous driving (road rage aggressive driving) and learns to obey the rules of the road. Kennedy reforms his reckless driving ways through humorous lessons (like ridiculous car accident clips) that stress the importance of safe driving. Informed and cautious thanks to safe driving tips, Kennedy is no longer the other fellow causing accidents. Kennedy learns not to be The Other Fellow that everyone else cant stand on the road by learning how to drive a car properly. A great responsible driving safety video.


Safe Roads

Safe Roads

Produced: 1930s

Length: 7 Minutes

This film, produced by Chevrolet as an educational tool for drivers ed schools, compares passenger trains and steam locomotives with automobiles as a way to learn to drive safely and be courteous while learning to drive a car. Using beautiful shots of moving steam-powered passenger trains in the 1930s (early steam trains), an engineer brings his unique perspective to the rules of safe driving on the road and tracks. Tips for safe driving and safe driving habits are given to encourage responsible driving. Along with the precious train footage (steam locomotives history), there are also classic cars and driving footage from the 1930s.


Seeing Green

Seeing Green

Produced: 1937

Length: 9 Minutes

Speed with safety is the rhythm of all modern transportation. All over the world the control of traffic with safety is of the utmost importance. And how do we control that traffic safely? Automatic traffic signals. Seeing Green, shows the wonder of the traffic light, explaining how they help all over the world, focusing on what they mean for the United States. There are all sorts of traffic lights: ones with words, ones that look like little houses, ones that have amber lights that mean go, and ones that have four progressive lights, depending on the city and state. Mostly shot in black in white, towards the end of the film, it switches to color to emphasize how stop lights are evolving. Seeing Green shows not only the importance of the traffic light, but how traffic specialists attempt to standardize safety lights to ensure speed with safety.  


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Tomorrow’s Drivers

Produced: 1954

Length: 10 Minutes

An incredible historic driving instruction film! Tomorrows Drivers was made in Phoenix, Arizona, in the 1950s where drivers ed begins in kindergarten! Thanks to narration by superstar actor Jimmy Stewart, the film achieves an amazing quality of cuteness and goodness. As captured in the film, an inventive approach is taken at Garfield Elementary School, where teachers create a model world for their students to operate small child-sized pedal cars to aid them in learning to drive. This involves pricelessly cuddly footage of kid cops handing out tickets to the mini-roadsters in speeding cars, as well as any many other pint-sized functions. The teachers instill safe driving practices in their students in these model cities by playing on aspects of familiar games: as in playing house, the kids are shown the need for everyone to be responsible for each others safety and personal needs. In fact, almost every aspect of vehicle safety is broken down for these youngsters. Defensive driving safety tips are particularly encouraged. By placing small children in drivers ed classes, safety rules are taught from the ground up to ensure that Tomorrows Drivers will be learning safe driving techniques and responsible driving from the beginning.


We Drivers

We Drivers

Produced: 1935

Length: 10 Minutes

This early driving promotional video and driving safety film by General Motors won the 1936 National Safety Councils first place award. Using animation, color, black and white, live action, and split screen footage, We Drivers presents the problems of reckless driving behavior in the ancient paradigm of the good self and bad self, represented by animated angel Sensible Sam and devil Reckless Rudolph. These funny 1930 cartoon images, along with Old Man Momentum, a sort of hairy giant that takes curves too fast and tailgates, help tease out the risk factors of driving situations, like night-driving, driving in fog, bad drivers, changing gears, speeding cars, driving while tired, aggressive driving, and road rage. Of course, plenty of great footage of classic cars and vintage vehicles populate the film. Not your typical car accident video, however, the end comes when Sam and Rudolph engage in a boxing match and, when Sam knocks Rudolph out, the referee calls out a list of ten vehicle safety rules instead of the traditional countdown. We Drivers balances cute characters with serious business, making for a fun and effective educational film. Its also worth noting that the film doesnt rely too heavily on scare tactics, or push its sponsor General Motors to an overbearing degree.


When You Are a Pedestrian

When You Are a Pedestrian

Produced: 1948

Length: 9 Minutes

In the 1940s educational video When Youre a Pedestrian, Joe Smith, the deceased narrator, encourages both pedestrian and driver safety. Taking the scare them straight approach, footage of bad car accidents from the streets of Oakland, California, and scenarios depicted in a scaled-down model city, graphically illustrates accidents and documents the carnage left behind. Though primarily about how pedestrians must be careful, the film also implicates drivers and their responsibility to drive safely. Here is death. Raw and ugly death! the narrator fiendishly intones. The remedies for these horrors are, as one would expect, safe driving habits, defensive driving, and pedestrian safety tips. These gruesome car accident stories are not entirely dated and without merit in and of themselves: road traffic accidents are a horrific killer every year. When Youre a Pedestrian is good for a laugh and a reminder of the need for pedestrian and driver responsibility.

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