According to TeenSafe, the two statistics stick out about teenage drivers:
- 11 teens die everyday as a result of texting and driving.
- Everyday, six teens between the ages of 16-19 suffer fatal injuries in car accidents.
These numbers are horrifying, and a few organizations are out to change these. One is B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe), a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives by training teens and their parents to be safer on the road.
The organization was founded in 2008 by Doug Herbert, the multi-time Top Fuel drag racing champion, after the tragic loss of his sons Jon and James in a car crash.
During a special ceremony at the NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Terry Vance, a 14-time national champion motorcycle drag racer, title-winning team owner, and co-founder of aftermarket motorcycle performance parts manufacturer Vance & Hines, made a $1 million donation to Herbert to support B.R.A.K.E.S.
“Terry and I have been friends for years, and we have a lot in common,” said Herbert. “Besides loving racing, driving and riding, we’re also parents, and we both recognize that protecting our kids and setting them up for success in life is the single greatest accomplishment you can ever aspire to. Thanks to Terry’s generosity, the charity that I founded to honor my sons is going to help a lot more teens and parents nationwide.”
Vance, who recently attended B.R.A.K.E.S.’ intensive half-day defensive driver training program with both of his own sons, said: “As a parent, every time your kid goes out the door, especially if they’re getting into a car, you want to know that you’ve done everything in your power to help them get back home safe. B.R.A.K.E.S. training does that.
“It gives teens skills and knowledge that we all know they’ll need on the street, and it stresses the importance of making good decisions to avoid trouble in the first place. I think every teen should go through B.R.A.K.E.S. That’s why my wife and I are making this donation to help Doug’s program keep expanding and saving lives, and we hope to inspire others to do the same.”
B.R.A.K.E.S. Advanced Driver Training
Car crashes are the number-one cause of death among teens. B.R.A.K.E.S. provides the foundational skills a new driver needs to make good decisions behind the wheel and reduce the risk of a crash. Courses include distracted driving awareness, panic braking, drop-wheel/off-road recovery, crash avoidance and car control/skid recovery – all of the biggest causes of crashes for new drivers. Other educational elements often include ‘Big Rig’ safety, first responder vehicle extrication demonstration, and what to do in the event of a traffic stop.
At locations across the nation each weekend B.R.A.K.E.S. school includes four identical sessions to allow parents and teens to pick one that will fit into their busy schedules. Each session includes four hours of training, starting with a short, 45-minute classroom presentation followed by nearly three hours behind the wheel of new Kia vehicles.
B.R.A.K.E.S. is NOT Driver’s Ed. It is a FREE, hands-on, advanced driver training program taught by professional instructors, including current and former members of law enforcement, professional racers and stunt drivers. B.R.A.K.E.S. maintains a low three-to-one student-to-instructor ratio to maximize educational effectiveness.
For more information and/or to register for a B.R.A.K.E.S. class, visit www.putonthebrakes.org.