78541136-583d-40eb-8a03-9c04a30a495eNo-Cost, Behind-the-Wheel Training Provides Teens and Their Parents With Advanced Safe Driving Skills

  • B.R.A.K.E.S. program includes four hours of behind-the-wheel training to help teens develop safe and responsible driving habits
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-17 year olds1

IRVINE, Calif., May 7, 2015 – San Francisco’s streets are about to get safer.  Kia Motors America (KMA) and the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) Teen Pro-Active Driving School will bring the 501(c)(3) charity’s free advanced driver training to the Bay Area May 16-17.  Registration for the lifesaving instruction at the former Alameda Point Naval Base in Alameda, California, is open now at ()

Nearly 150 teens in the San Francisco area will receive hands-on defensive driving education from highly skilled professional instructors, joining the more than 15,000 teens nationwide that have graduated from B.R.A.K.E.S.’ intensive half-day training course.  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 for the students and parents to drive during the training.

“Kia aims to be a catalyst for positive change by working with B.R.A.K.E.S. to provide teens and parents with the tools they need to develop and reinforce responsible driving habits,” said Tim Chaney, vice president of marketing communications, KMA.  “We are dedicated to making roads safer in the communities we call home by eliminating preventable motor vehicle accidents.”

At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 20102.  Drivers under the age of 20 have the largest proportion of fatal accidents involving distracted driving3.  Accidents also remain the leading cause of death for teens globally.

“B.R.A.K.E.S. is dedicated to helping teens make safer decisions while on the road and preparing them for the hazardous conditions they will inevitably face,” said Doug Herbert, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Top Fuel drag racer and founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. “Kia’s support of B.R.A.K.E.S. has helped us expand our training efforts and reach teens in new cities, now including San Francisco.  Working together, we aim to reduce the number of teen deaths as a result of automobile accidents by simply providing teens the tools they need to be safe on the road.”

B.R.A.K.E.S. has provided free safe-driving instruction for more than 15,000 students in 10 states across America.  Each school offers nearly four hours of hands-on training with a low three-to-one student-to-teacher ratio to ensure personal attention, and parents participate in the courses alongside their teens to ensure proper driving techniques are reinforced following the session.  Teens with parents who set driving rules and monitor their activities are half as likely to crash, 71 percent less likely to drive intoxicated, 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone when driving and less inclined to speed4.

The B.R.A.K.E.S. Training Curriculum 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 injured5. 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:  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.
  • 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


* 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.



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** 2015 K900 V8 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.

*** 2015 Soul EV in select markets with limited availability.
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