Brakes-LogoHaving been involved with various driver training programs for over a decade, Renee has recently had the privilege of working with Doug Herbert’s B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) Teen Pro-Active Driving School.

B.R.A.K.E.S. is holding a program – their first in New Jersey – at Englishtown this weekend – April 23-24, 2016. The defensive driving school – which is FREE to attend – is designed for teenagers (aged 15-19) who already have a learner’s permit or driver’s license and have at least 30 hours of driving experience. For more information, or to register, please visit the B.R.A.K.E.S. website.

B.R.A.K.E.S. was tragically founded after NHRA drag racing star Doug Herbert lost his two young sons, Jon and James, in a violent car accident in January 2008. His profound grief led him to create a driving program aimed at preventing other families from experiencing similar heartbreak.

“I was invited to work for B.R.A.K.E.S. up at New England Dragway (Epping, NH) last October and the experience absolutely blew me away,” offered Renee. “When you learn the statistics –automobile accidents are the number one cause of death in teens aged 15-19 – it really drives home the fact that the system our country has in place to train drivers is woefully inadequate.”

“I was just out in Indy a few weekends ago and I’m headed to Englishtown tomorrow night. To have the opportunity to work with teens – to teach them skills that can literally save their lives – I cannot think of a better use of my time.”

In designing their curriculum, B.R.A.K.E.S. focused on the specific types of accidents claiming the lives of teens – enlisting the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT, police departments, insurance companies and various local and state agencies – to do so. The 3:1 student to instructor ratio affords a great deal of one-on-one interaction during the four hour course.

Instruction, which far exceeds what’s presented with traditional training, includes:

  • Accident Avoidance
  • Distracted Driving
  • Drop Wheel/Off Road Recovery
  • Panic Stopping
  • Car Control and Recovery

Other learning experiences vary by school but, include air bag deployment demonstrations, safe driving around tractor trailers/big-rigs, blind spot elimination, as well as presentations from local police and fire-rescue agencies.

“This year, B.R.A.K.E.S. will hold schools in 15 different states. If you have a teen driver in your life – be it a family member, friend, etc. – I would highly urge you to get them enrolled in a B.R.A.K.E.S. class.”

To learn more about B.R.A.K.E.S., a 501(c)3 organization, please visit their website: