No-Cost Training Program Provides Teens and Their Parents With Advanced Safe Driving Skills
Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash[i]. B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) and Kia Motors America (KMA) have joined together to make the highways and byways across the U.S. safer by offering free hands-on-defensive driving training. Registration for the lifesaving B.R.A.K.E.S. instruction at WestWorld of Scottsdale, Arizona, on January 16 and 17, is still open. Visit PutOnTheBrakes.org/Schedule to sign up or view the full list of available cities.
Did you know?
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15-17 year olds[ii]
- On average, eight teens lose their lives every day in vehicle crashes, or approximately 3,000 teens per year[iii]
- The first six months are the most dangerous for a new driver,[iv] however, only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their teen about the key components of driving[v]
o Teens with parents who set driving rules and monitor their activities are half as likely to crash, 71 percent less likely to drive intoxicated, and 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone when driving and less inclined to speed[vi]
- A quarter of teens respond to at least one text message or have multi-message text conversations while driving[vii]
o As a result, drivers under the age of 20 have the largest proportion of fatal accidents involving distracted driving[viii]
Nearly 150 Arizona teens and their parents will receive hands-on defensive driving education from B.R.A.K.E.S.’ highly skilled professional instructors, joining the more than 17,000 teens nationwide that have graduated from the intensive half-day training course since 2008. Instruction includes a distracted driving exercise, emergency braking using the anti-lock braking system (ABS), evasive maneuvering and skid-control practice. Kia is the Official Vehicle and presenting sponsor of the B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School and provides a fleet of 32 new vehicles to drive during the training. With Kia’s support, B.R.A.K.E.S. continues to increase the number of schools offered and expand into new markets.
“Kia has teamed up with B.R.A.K.E.S. to reduce teen traffic fatalities through hands-on-defensive driving training,” said Tim Chaney, vice president of marketing communications, KMA. “The B.R.A.K.E.S. program provides practical training to help teens and their parents make better decisions while behind the wheel.”
B.R.A.K.E.S.’ free safe-driving instruction provides a low three-to-one student-to-teacher ratio to ensure personal attention. The training provides teens the tools they need to respond to scenarios they may face while on the road. Parents also participate in the courses to ensure proper driving techniques are reinforced following the session.
“B.R.A.K.E.S. is committed to providing teens with the practical experience and training they need to make safer decisions on the road and prepare for the hazardous conditions they may encounter,” said Doug Herbert, founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. and recent recipient of the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “We look forward to continuing to work with Kia in 2016 to bring the training to new cities in an effort to continue to reduce teen driving accidents nationwide.”
The B.R.A.K.E.S. Training Curriculum includes the following:
- Accident Avoidance/Slalom: This forces students to make a split-second reaction to help negotiate a quick, evasive lane change when encountering an unexpected object without losing control of the vehicle. Students must navigate their vehicle around cones while focusing on weight transfer, hand positioning and eye scanning.
- Distracted Driving: The course demonstrates the danger that cell phones, text messaging, and other distractions can pose while driving.
- Drop Wheel/Off Road Recovery: The drop-wheel recovery course teaches students how to effectively recover when one or more of their wheels veers off the road surface and onto the shoulder, regaining control of the car and safely returning to the roadway.
- Panic Stop: The panic-stop course instructs students on proper braking techniques to help stop a vehicle in the shortest distance possible while maintaining control. Students and their parents experience firsthand the pulsating brake pedal effects of ABS and how to control the vehicle when ABS is engaged.
- Car Control and Recovery: A wet skid pad simulates wet-road conditions. Students learn how to recover from both oversteer (rear wheel) and understeer (front wheel) skids.
Other learning experiences vary by school but can include an eye-opening view from the driver’s seat of a big-rig truck with a discussion about safe zones and blind spots, as well as demonstrations from police and fire-rescue agencies.