Kia Motors America and B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) today announced a renewal of their partnership and continued commitment to reducing injuries and saving lives by providing teens and their parents with the tools they need to be responsible behind the wheel. Founded in 2008, B.R.A.K.E.S. combines classroom instruction with hands-on-defensive driver training courses in Kia vehicles for both teen drivers and their parents. Along with their teens, parents are asked to participate as a way to reinforce the lessons teens learn during the classes and as a way to identify and correct any bad habits that may have developed through the years since they themselves began driving.
The first B.R.A.K.E.S. classes of the year took place this past weekend, February 20-21, at the zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pandemic depending, additional classes to be scheduled across the country when appropriate. All CDC guidelines will be strictly adhered to and B.R.A.K.E.S. is implementing routine cleaning and disinfecting of all classrooms, touchpoints and vehicles to ensure the safety of students, parents and instructors. In addition, B.R.A.K.E.S. has reduced class sizes and will adhere to social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. To register for a class or to view the full upcoming schedule, visit www.putonthebrakes.org.
“The number-one cause of death among teens are car crashes. Education and real-word training are two of the most important ways we can facilitate a change and make a difference in that area, but it wouldn’t be possible without Kia’s help and the fleet of training vehicles the company provides,” said Doug Herbert, drag-racing-champion and founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. “It’s impossible to gauge the exact number of lives the B.R.A.K.E.S schools have saved over the last 13 years. In total, we have trained more than 94,000 teens and their parents. But even if we can only say for certain that we saved just one life, it would all be worth it. The ongoing commitment and support from Kia allow us to continue making America’s roads safer for everyone and for that we are grateful.”
Kia serves as the Official Vehicle and a presenting sponsor of B.R.A.K.E.S., and through the automaker’s support, B.R.A.K.E.S. can offer free training for all attendees. Kia’s sponsorship helps by offsetting costs through a financial donation and the fleet of 44 Kia vehicles, including Soul, Rio and Forte models that are supplied by Kia for each training class.
“Kia is committed to vehicle and road safety, and our partnership with B.R.A.K.E.S. is an important way for us to strengthen our efforts to ‘Accelerate The Good’ through tangible action,” said Russell Wager, vice president, marketing, Kia Motors America. “We congratulate B.R.A.K.E.S. for the life-saving work they have made their mission and Kia is proud to continue our collaboration for years to come.”
Each B.R.A.K.E.S. school includes four hours of training, starting with a short, 45-minute classroom presentation followed by nearly three hours behind the wheel using new Kia vehicles as part of the practical demonstrations. The program includes distracted driving awareness, panic braking, drop-wheel/off-road recovery, crash avoidance and car control/skid recovery – all among the biggest causes of crashes for new drivers. Other educational elements often include ‘Big Rig’ safety, first responder vehicle extrication demonstration, and what to do in the event of a traffic stop.