Car crashes are the number-one cause of death among teens.
Many of those deaths can be prevented with the right training. It’s available this coming weekend, Sept. 29-30, when the free national free teen defensive driving program B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) comes to Belle Isle.
B.R.A.K.E.S. is not driver’s ed. It is a hands-on, advanced driver training program taught by professional instructors, including current and former members of law enforcement, professional racers and stunt drivers, who will teach new drivers and their parents how to be safer on the road.
Exercises include distracted driving awareness, panic braking, crash avoidance, drop wheel/off-road recovery, and car control/skid recovery.
There will be a three-to-one student-to-instructor ratio to maximize educational effectiveness.
The teens will drive vehicles provided by Kia Motors and with partial funding from DENSO, the Kia dealers of Southeastern Michigan, and General Motors.
The weekend 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.
Teens can register by clicking here.
The training has proven effective.
A study by Dr. Paul Friday, University of North Carolina, Charlotte professor emeritus, showed B.R.A.K.E.S. graduates are 64 percent less likely to experience a crash in the first three years of driving when compared with non-graduate peers.
B.R.A.K.E.S. founder Doug Herbert started the 501(c)(3) charity after losing his two sons in a tragic car crash and turned his tragedy into a lifesaving mission that has trained more 33,000 teens around the country.
“Car crashes are the number-one cause of death among teens across the country, but I never knew that until Jon and James became part of those statistics,” says Herbert. “From that tragedy, we created a mission to prevent injuries and save lives by training teens and their parents to be safer behind the wheel.”
The program will also include lunch, as well as welcoming remarks by Herbert and other featured guests.