We had both our son and daughter go through this drivers program. My son has used the skills he learned to avoid 2 different accidents! The training they provide is invaluable! We have recommended it to several of our friends whom have also gone through the program. The instructors know how to get the kids to listen through humor and straight talk. An added bonus...you can use the fee as a tax write off and we saved almost $300 on our auto insurance.Every young driver should go through this program!!
I heard about B.R.A.K.E.S. from a former colleague of mine. At the time, my daughter was 16, but not yet licensed. Driving with her made me uneasy, I wasn’t confident that SHE was confident. Spending the morning with Doug’s team gave my daughter tools that no traditional driving school could have done. She walked out of the program with a better grasp on the bigger picture and a better understanding of how to handle her car in precarious situations. My daughter walked into her driving test a few weeks later with her head held high. In addition, I am MUCH more cognizant of my own driving. I have recommended this class to any and every one I talk to.
First volunteering for a single Saturday morning of kicking cones with B.R.A.K.E.S. at Pomona, CA in December of 2009, this driving program immediately fascinated me…a grass roots beginning, a small group of dedicated instructor drivers, and a deeply genuine desire among them all to benefit families with a new teen aged driver afoot. What a favorable impression! It definitely inspired a return trip to volunteer the following day.
Since that first day ten years ago it has been my privilege to have participated with B.R.A.K.E.S. in over 160 singular driving program sessions in numerous Southern California locations. They have graciously provided me additional participation opportunities conducting local program promotions and group presentations to organizations such as National Life Savers Conference, National Charity League, Home School Network, and Universal Technical Institute.
My amassed total volunteer hours now number in excess of 815. B.R.A.K.E.S. has now grown way beyond what my mind could have possibly imagined. Yet not even once, not ever, has this team of people lost its rudimentary commitment to its grass roots beginnings nor its genuine desire to first benefit the participating families.
My daughter took this class when she was 17 years old, that was 4 years ago. She has told me of several times that the training that she received from this class has saved her from serious wrecks maybe even more serious consequences had the situation taken a different turn. This is a great program and it is well worth it to attend.
All three of my sons have taken this beneficial program. I know the “life-saving skills” they have learned prepared (and will continue to prepare) them for several unexpected situations,
The passion and quality of the instructors and staff are top notch!
We really didn't know what to expect from this event before we arrived. We were out of town when the school was held in our hometown, so we drove 2 hours last Saturday to Topeka. Our daughter is 15 and has been to drivers education classes and completed her 30 hours. The B.R.A.K.E.S. school was not only excellent for her - my husband and I both learned a lot too! I can't recommend this school enough - I have told everyone I know about it AND volunteered to work this event in our hometown next year! The staff is top-notch, professional and very helpful. W-O-W! The afternoon was worth far more than $99. For the piece of mind it gave us, it's priceless.
God Bless Doug Herbert and all of the staff! THANK YOU!
This is a fantastic program with a wealth of amazing instructors, presenters, resources and information. The program is so well organized and not a moment is wasted. From the moment you arrive until when you leave, it's lively, fun, honest, well orchestrated, full of great instruction both for the teens AND the parents. The people are ALL amazing - funny, nice, helpful, interesting, interested - can't say enough good things about B.R.A.K.E.S. The only thing that would make it better is if every teen driver in the country (and beyond!) had access to it.
This class is a MUST for all new drivers. It provided valuable road lessons that proved very helpful for my daughter. She had her license for almost a year when she got T-boned going thru an intersection near our home. Because of this class she was able to remain calm & knew how to handle the car to get it to stop safely with out hurting any pedestrians or another car. She did take out a cross walk pole as a result. Her brand new 2018 Jeep Cherokee was totaled and thankfully her & her 2 friends were able to walk away from the crash with minor injuries. The police told her if not for safe car she was driving and her keen sense to remain calm it could of been a very different situation. Thankful all the passengers had seat belts on which also contributed to saving lives. She tells all her friends & parents of friends to have their child take this class. I’d pay $1000 for this class & for have it for $100 is a steal!
I really appreciate their commitment to excellence and teen driver training. Learning how to experience a car in a test environment where it is skidding or challenging to control is so important to being able to cope with situations new drivers face.
After having training, one time my daughter dropped a wheel off the road while I was in the passenger seat. She calmly and easily drove the vehicle back onto the road without panicking or jerking the wheel or vehicle. This was all due to BRAKES! it is also outstanding that they have KIA as a sponsor. I will definitely look seriously at KIA the next time I have to purchase!
This course is extremely well put together. I (for they had a small adult portion too) can now confidently use my ABS without fear of flipping and know how to set my mirrors. My daughter felt encouraged and supported for the whole class. She came home from school today and said that she had accidentally dropped a wheel off the side of the road on her way home. She said she used to panic when this happened and would yank the car back on the road immediately, but today she did what she learned to do in class and felt good about doing it.
The instructors were patient, thorough, and treated all the kids with self-fulfilling prophecies about the kids' abilities. There was not one I saw who seemed to be less enthusiastic than the others.
Thank you for putting this on. I have recommended it to several families in our neighborhood.
Also, I WANT ONE JUST FOR ADULTS! These are skills I could use too.
This is an incredible program!!! My son took the BRAKES course and he is a much wiser driver for it. It allows teens an opportunity to experience different scenarios in a controlled environment so they are prepared to respond safely on the roads. Everyone should be required to take this course.
I got involved with Brakes several years ago as a volunteer and continue to help whenever I can. Since then, I've also had one teen go through the program and another going through this fall. Brakes is a learning experience that may just save your child's life...or yours! This is not your typical driver education and you will learn as much as your teen! I encourage everyone I know to get involved with this program. It will far exceed any expectation that you have!
I was so impressed with the BRAKES program, Doug and his story, and the amazing people who work for this organization, that I became a volunteer. I tell everyone I can about the program and how much it means, as a parent, to know that your new driver has additional driving knowledge and skills, that they don't get from a traditional drivers ed program, to help keep them safer on the roads.
This is a terrific nonprofit that has saved countless teens' lives through the training they offer. They also put the parents behind the wheel to learn some of the safety tactics, and I was grateful to have the training to recover from a tire slipping off the shoulder and to experience anti-lock brakes at full capacity. One of the best things they taught my whole family was how to properly use the side mirrors for your blind spots -- most people have them in the wrong angle, preventing them from seeing their blind spot without looking over a shoulder. Sign your kid up well in advance. They book up quickly.
BRAKES offers an amazing program that helps make teens better drivers to make our roads safer for them and everybody. I drove a long ways many times just so my three kids would have the opportunity to learn from the incredible instructors involved with this program. I can't recommend it highly enough.
They begin with a truly enlightening video that grabs their attention and immediately makes them see the importance of safe driving skills. After that, the kids get into the vehicles provided by BRAKES. The behind-the-wheel training is invaluable and the opportunity to drive the skid cars, obstacle courses and speed/control tests with professional drivers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I had to drag all three of my kids to the class but afterwards, they were very glad they went. Not only did they learn a ton, they had a great time.
Doug Herbert and his staff provide such a valuable service and they are fantastic at doing it. They truly have hearts for giving and are doing this for all the right reasons. Unlike some charities that keep a large portion of donations, BRAKES puts nearly all donated money into directly helping the teens drive more safely. Thank heavens for Doug and BRAKES for doing all they can to keep our teens accident free and our roads safer.
It always bothered me that most Driver's Ed classes only teach beginning drivers enough to drive safely under normal conditions and not how to respond to emergencies, or at best, they only teach you the theory of what you should do in such situations.
No classroom instruction compares to the real experience of feeling your car sliding out of control with poor traction and you having to stay cool and respond appropriately. Or what it feels like in a panic stop when ABS kicks in and it's up to you to not hit something.
Many of these common driving experiences can be mastered easily and become second nature when you get a chance to actually experience and learn to handle them under controlled, safe conditions. Unfortunately, for many (most?) young drivers, the first time they experience things like this, it's for real, they have no idea what to do or they panic and the results can be devastating.
The "drop wheel" exercise gives drivers a feel for what happens when a wheel drops off onto the shoulder (when needing to avoid an object or pot-hole or just with inattentive driving). This is a situation which leads to a surprising number of serious accidents with inexperienced drivers, as the dynamics of the car change unexpectedly and they overreact.
The "distraction" exercise is a sneaky, brilliant way of impressing on young drivers how much even a little bit of distraction (the radio, friends talking or horsing around, your driving instructor asking you a question) can lead to accidents if you don't learn to avoid distractions or tune then out at critical times.
The whole point of B.R.A.K.E.S. is to give drivers more awareness, to stay calm and appropriately handle common driving situations that could otherwise be serious, by giving them actual experience before it happens to them for real.
I also recommend these sorts of programs that give you experience handling situations in the actual car you drive, as different vehicles can respond differently.
Best investment in your teenage drivers safety you can possibly make. They teach driving defensive, and offensive survival skills for real world driving, not the "fair weather" driving that the kids are taught in regular driving schools.
I heard about this program through a casual conversation with a parent of a teen that had attended. My teen was less than thrilled to hear that we would be leaving at 5am on a Sunday morning to drive 2 hours to attend "another driving class".
Once she got there her attitude change completely, the instructors are not only knowledgeable but excellent communicators with the teens.
We all had an incredibly fun time learning skills that will last a lifetime.
My daughter didn't stop talking about the program the entire ride home!
We are telling everyone we know to register their young drivers.
THANK YOU to the entire staff for their dedication to this program.
As the mother of two BRAKES graduates I can tell you the course was a priceless experience. My kids, like most, walked in early one Saturday morning not necessarily thrilled to be there and walked out four hours later with huge smiles and a lot more confidence behind the wheel. They both escaped some very close calls while driving and I am convinced that if it hadn't been for BRAKES the outcome would have been much worse. As a board member I can tell you we get letters all the time from participants who write to thank Doug Herbert and the staff for saving their lives. Phrases like "I heard the BRAKES instructor in my head so I knew what to do" or "when x happened I had learned not to panic" when faced with a serious crisis on the road are common themes. BRAKES is amazing at teaching kids ways to handle a car when things go wrong - which they almost inevitably will. I am very thankful my now-adult children are now armed with driving skills they'll have for the rest of their lives - and I learned quite a bit along the way as well.
This is an amazing program that both my boys have gone through. It helped me to feel more confident in their driving skills and put them into driving situations that I was unwilling or unable to do myself and taught them how to properly handle each situation.
As a friend of Doug I went there one time just to see what The brakes foundation was all about and thought it was amazing but didn't really have a driving experience. Sometime later I brought my teenage great nephew to take the course and I had a chance to drive the cars and I've got to say that there is nothing better for a teenager or anyone for that matter than to experience firsthand behind the wheel training with a professional instructor in extreme environments and conditions
This class is going to save many many lives and I'm a big supporter and I tell all my friends about it on Facebook.
God bless Doug Herbert for honoring his boys and creating this amazing contribution to the world.
Doug Herbert is a true American hero !
Ira Chester. Attorney at law
Valuable defensive driving skills taught by professional race drivers. The four hour program is top notch and I look forward to enrolling my other children when they are of age and eligible to enroll. There are skills taught that a traditional driving school does not so B.R.A.K.E.S does a great job of filling that gap.
I Donate a small amount $25 dollars each year for my teen son, lost in a car accident along with three others in the vehicle. Such a small amount to help other teens get the experience from behind the wheel to save lives on the street's!.... I love what they do and Thank all involved.
Outstanding organization at all levels. Over 400,000 teen age drivers end up in the emergency room each year because of distracted driving. Let's help make this program available to everyone.
My son and I participated in this pro-active driving course. Loved every minute of it. All aspects were informative and invaluable. My son feels that he got some real experience that he would not have had unless it actually happened in real-time. I only wish I knew about this program sooner so my two older kids could've gone through the course! Even I, as a parent and driver of 30 years, learned a lot. I was pleasantly surprised that the parents were also taken through some of the course tracks for some practice and experience. The big-rig being there on site was also a huge plus! I worry about my kids driving with those huge trailers on the road and my kids not knowing how to drive along with them. Very, very, informative. And all the instructors and volunteers were awesome!! I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone! :)
Great program that teaches values behind the wheel.
My two oldest children went through the program. They learned skills that are not taught in Driver's Ed but are crucial to being safe. Among other things, they learned and practiced how to safely get a wheel back on the road, how to control a car in a skid, how to safely handle antilock brakes, how to avoid a sudden emergency like a child or deer in the road, and they climbed into the cab of a truck surrounded by cars and saw the blind spots.
The teachers are professional driving teachers who teach folks like the Secret Service, and when i got in the car with one, I learned a lot.
The school is free, paid for entirely with donations, although i donated my deposit.
I sent my kids because a friend's daughter had gone through the program and credited BRAKEs with saving her life and two others in the car when she hit a patch of ice and skidded into the left lane.
These people are good, people, obviously dedicated to keeping young drivers safe, and with no other agenda. I was so impressed.
Thank you so much! We are SO glad that BRAKES training was valuable to you and your teen driver!
Review from Guidestar