Kia Motors America (KMA) is launching a nationwide partnership as the official vehicle and presenting sponsor of B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) Teen Pro-Active Driving School to educate teenagers and their parents about the importance of responsible driving habits. KMA’s support which includes a fleet of 32 Kia vehicles will provide teens nationwide with no-cost, hands-on training, including distracted driving exercise, emergency braking using the anti-lock braking system (ABS), evasive maneuvering and skid-control practice. A three-to-one student-to-teacher ratio will ensure personal attention and high-quality individual instruction for every student.
“KMA is committed to giving back to the communities in which we do business,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “Our partnership with B.R.A.K.E.S. will help teens learn to respond quickly and confidently to real-world driving scenarios through advanced training techniques to help ensure their own safety and that of others on the road.”
In addition to supplying school cars and other support, Kia’s race-winning No. 38 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Optima Turbo, driven by Mark Wilkins, will prominently feature B.R.A.K.E.S. for the remainder of the 2013 PWC season in an effort to raise awareness for teen driving safety. The racer’s new livery will be unveiled at a promotional event in New York City’s SoHo district this evening, ahead of this weekend’s races at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.
“Kia’s support will enable B.R.A.K.E.S. to train thousands more teens, grow awareness and expand training to new areas of the country,” said Doug Herbert NHRA Top Fuel Racer & Founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. “We are extremely excited about this new relationship and what we can do together with Kia to accomplish our mission of reducing teen driving accidents.”
B.R.A.K.E.S., a 501 c3 charity based in Charlotte, N.C., has provided safe driving instruction courses for more than 8,000 students in the U.S. and Canada. The school offers nearly four hours of hands-on training and a very low student-instructor ratio to ensure personal attention. The curriculum includes an array of defensive driving techniques and raises awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Parents participate in the courses alongside their teens to ensure safe driving techniques are reinforced following the session. To sign up for a school in your area visit http://www.putonthebrakes.com/driving-schools/schedule1/.
Training includes the following:
- Accident Avoidance/Slalom: The two-part course simulates an animal or object jumping out in front of a car. It forces students to make a split-second reaction to help negotiate a quick, evasive lane change 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: In 2009 it was estimated more than 5,400 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured[i]. 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 from a drop-wheel situation by regaining control of the car and safely returning to the roadway.
- Panic Stop: Teens often lack the experience needed to judge a safe following distance. The panic stop course instructs students on proper braking techniques to help stop a vehicle in the shortest distance possible while maintaining control. Students experience firsthand the pulsating brake pedal effects of ABS and how to control the vehicle when ABS in engaged.
- Car Control and Recovery: A wet skid pad simulates wet-road conditions. Students learn how to recover from both over-steer (rear wheel) and under-steer (front wheel) skids.