IRVINE, Calif., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to overwhelming public interest, B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) and Kia Motors America (KMA) are expanding the Teen Pro-Active Driving School throughout Southern California in an effort to help reduce the high rate of motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers. In a region with approximately 750,000 potential new drivers between the ages of 16 and 20,2 B.R.A.K.E.S. training programs will be conducted beginning late May in Costa Mesa, Pomona, San Diego and Fontana. According to a recent study, teens who complete the B.R.A.K.E.S. program are 64 percent less likely to be involved in an accident in their first three years of driving,1 and 84 percent of all B.R.A.K.E.S. graduates since 2011 had no crashes.1
"The leading cause of death for American teens is motor vehicle crashes, and our mission is to prevent injuries and save lives by providing young drivers with the real-life driving experience they need in a safe and controlled environment," said Doug Herbert, founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. and recipient of the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). "Teaching young drivers how to manage potentially dangerous conditions gives them an advantage should they ever encounter similar situations on the road."
Participating teens and their parents will receive hands-on defensive driving education from B.R.A.K.E.S.' team of highly skilled professional instructors, which includes former race car drivers, stunt drivers and secret service agents. Instruction, in vehicles provided by Kia, includes a distracted driving course, handling emergency braking situations — utilizing anti-lock braking systems, evasive maneuvering and skid-control practice. The program adheres to a low three-to-one student-to-teacher ratio to ensure personal attention is provided to every driver. Parents also participate in the courses to ensure proper driving techniques are reinforced long-term after the training is completed.
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 more than 40 vehicles. With Kia's support, B.R.A.K.E.S. continues to increase the number of schools offered and expand into new markets.
"Kia places a priority on vehicle safety, and our partnership with B.R.A.K.E.S. reflects our commitment to keep drivers safe on the road, which begins with practical, hands-on driving experience," said Tim Chaney, vice president of marketing communications, KMA. "The B.R.A.K.E.S. program has been proved to improve driving skills and help teens make better decisions when behind the wheel. Even if one accident is prevented as a result of this training, that's a win."
The B.R.A.K.E.S. Training Curriculum includes the following:
- Accident Avoidance/Slalom: This forces students to make a split-second decision to execute 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 Antilock Brake Systems (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.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and set an all-time annual sales record in 2015, surpassing the 600,000 unit mark for the first time in company history. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K9003 flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Soul Electric Vehicle4, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door subcompacts and the Sedona minivan, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia's U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 15,000 plant and supplier jobs.
Information about KMA and its full vehicle line-up is available at www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by NHRA Mello Yello Series Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert in memory of his two sons, Jon and James, who were tragically killed in a car accident. The B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School is a free, defensive driving program. By training and educating teenage drivers and their parents, the program aims to promote safe driving in an attempt to prevent injuries and save lives. To volunteer, obtain more information or donate please visit www.putonthebrakes.org.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts
1 According to a study by Dr. Paul Friday of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the North Carolina Department of Transportation
3 K900 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.
4 Soul EV in select markets with limited availability.
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SOURCE Kia Motors America