*Paul C. Friday, PhD, UNC-Charlotte
Put On The B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) is a non-profit 501(c)3 whose mission is to prevent injuries and save lives by training and educating teenage drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving.
When NHRA drag racing star Doug Herbert lost his two young sons, Jon and James, in a tragic car crash 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. Originally, Herbert’s intentions were to train his sons friends and to give them additional advanced behind the wheel skills and increase their decision making ability in a vehicle. In 2008, the first year of B.R.A.K.E.S., Doug focused on training Jon & James's friends and 50 teens were trained. The word soon spread and requests came to Herbert from hundreds of other parents wanting this same type of life saving training for their teen drivers, so Herbert made the decision to expand the program with the new goal of training every teen driver.
With the help of Jon & James's friends, 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 B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Curriculum.
Thousands of teenagers lose their lives each year across the country in traffic collisions. This staggering number of fatalities can be reduced through the efforts of B.R.A.K.E.S. and its Teen Pro-Active Driving Curriculum.
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:
To prevent injuries and save lives by training and educating teenage drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving.
While conventional driver’s education is important and valuable, the Teen Pro-Active Driving Curriculum goes beyond that level of training by addressing driving situations responsible for many traffic collisions involving teens.
Collision Avoidance using a slalom curriculum 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.
To date, over 100,000 teenagers and their parents have attended the B.R.A.K.E.S. program. Participants have traveled from 46 states and 5 countries to attend these training events.
B.R.A.K.E.S. schools are held at many locations all across the country. Please visit our Driver Training upcoming registration schedule page for locations and dates.
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 $500 per student and one weekend of B.R.A.K.E.S. instruction will train approximately 196 students. Please contact the B.R.A.K.E.S. headquarters for more information.
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.
The B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Curriculum 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.