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B.R.A.K.E.S.: The Free Driving Course That Could Save Your Teen Driver's Life

Date de publication: mer, 03/22/2017 - 09:26admin_user

If you're a parent, you're probably nervous about putting your teen driver on wheels. You have good reason to be: Car crashes are the number one killer of teens aged 16-19. Every year, car wrecks kill about 2,200 teens, and send another 220,000 or so to the emergency room. Among passengers of all ages, 20 percent of fatalities occur when a teen driver is at the wheel.

Drag racer Doug Herbert knows this all too well. In 2008 he got the phone call every parent dreads: His 17-year-old son Jon had been driving recklessly and crashed his car. In the passenger seat was his 12-year-old brother, James. Both of Doug's sons were killed in the wreck.
Turning Tragedy into Opportunity

Doug felt devastated, but he quickly realized that he wasn't alone: On average, six families get that same tragic phone call every day. As a professional drag racer, Doug knew the importance of safety, and he decided it was time that teens learn, too. Together with Jon and James' friends, Doug started B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), a defensive driving school aimed at teen drivers and their parents.

And in order to make sure he could reach as many teens as possible, he made the class free.

B.R.A.K.E.S. is a touring operation; nearly every weekend they hold classes in two separate locations around the country. (They are working on adding cars and staff for at third set of classes.) The program is open to all teen drivers who have a valid permit or license. Owing to high demand, families are asked for a $99 refundable deposit to secure a spot; the money is refundable, but roughly three-quarters of the families that attend leave their deposits as a donation. (B.R.A.K.E.S. is a 501(c)3 non-profit and donations are tax-deductible.) So far, over 22,000 kids have participated in the B.R.A.K.E.S. class.