THE B.R.A.K.E.S. STORY—Dedicated to Saving Young Lives
When NHRA drag racing star Doug Herbert lost his two young sons, Jon and James, in a tragic car accident in January of 2008, his grief led to his resolve to create a driving program which would help to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartbreak by teaching young drivers more conscientious and confident skills behind the wheel.
Herbert wasted no time in putting his mission into motion. That same year, he created B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe), a 501(c)3 organization which provides free advanced driver’s education in a program entitled the Teen Pro-Active Driving Course.
Over 5,000 teenagers lose their lives each year across the country in traffic accidents. This staggering number of fatalities can be reduced through the efforts of B.R.A.K.E.S. and its Teen Pro-Active Driving Course.
Here are many of the questions B.R.A.K.E.S. receives from those wanting to learn more about this unique and effective program:
What are B.R.A.K.E.S. primary goals?
To prevent injuries and save lives by training and educating teenage drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving.
Isn’t conventional driver’s education adequate training for teenagers?
While conventional driver’s education is important and valuable, the Teen Pro-Active Driving Course goes beyond that level of training by addressing driving situations responsible for many traffic accidents involving teens.
Accident Avoidance using a slalom course to teach elevated steering control; a Distraction Exercise to teach increased focus and concentration; a Wheel Drop-Off Recovery Exercise to teach the proper method of retaining control when the vehicle drops a wheel off a highway shoulder; a Panic Stop Exercise to give teenagers safer and more controlled responses when braking in an emergency; a Car Control and Recovery Exercise that teaches the skills necessary to maintain or regain control in wet or icy road conditions.
Overall, how many students have attended the B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Course?
To date, over 11,000 teenagers and their parents have attended the B.R.A.K.E.S. program in 10 states. Participants have traveled from 29 states and 2 countries to attend these training events.
Where are the Teen Pro-Active Driving Courses held?
B.R.A.K.E.S schools are held one weekend a month at Zmax Dragway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. Schools are also held in other locations all over the U.S. including Southern California at Pomona Fairplex and Orange County in Irvine, The BMW Driving Center in Spartanburg, SC., the Manheim Auction Center in Manheim, PA. and Orlando, FL., Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN., and Bob Bondurant’s Performance Driving Center in Phoenix AZ. B.R.A.K.E.S. has even hosted a school in Juneau, Alaska!
Can B.R.A.K.E.S. bring its program to my community?
B.R.A.K.E.S. continues to look for additional locations to expand its training program. In order to hold a driving school in your community, B.R.A.K.E.S requires assistance in covering the associated costs in bringing the program to you. In general, the cost is about $300 per student and one weekend of B.R.A.K.E.S. instruction will train approximately 140 students. Please contact the B.R.A.K.E.S. headquarters for more information.
Who are the instructors for B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Course and what are their qualifications?
B.R.A.K.E.S. utilizes instructors from various backgrounds who have extensive experience with advanced driver training and defensive driving instruction. Their credentials include experience as accomplished race drivers and skilled driving instructors. In fact, many of our instructors have provided training for numerous automobile manufacturers while others have experience as advanced defensive driving instructors to the United States Secret Service and various private security organizations.
How much does it cost to attend a B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Course?
The B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Course is offered free of charge, however, we require a $99 refundable deposit to hold your spot. As a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization, B.R.A.K.E.S. relies on donations, sponsorships, and various fundraising events to allow them to provide this lifesaving program to teenagers across the country.