Driving instructors

Free course teaches teens essential defensive driving skills

RALEIGH, North Carolina — Car crashes are the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States, according to the CDC.

This weekend, dozens of teens from across the country put their skills to the test in a free defensive driving course in Raleigh at the State Highway Patrol Training Center.

What do you want to know

  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens in the United States

  • Nationwide BRAKES program aims to curb troubling statistics with a defensive driving program
  • BRAKES was founded by NHRA Drag Racer Doug Herbert

“In some cases it’s pretty overwhelming. The skids can be pretty crazy if it’s something they’ve never felt before,” said BRAKES Instructor Jason Lare.

But mad is BRAKES mission

“Skidding, wheel down, braking drills, collision avoidance drills, they do distracted driving, which is a big deal these days,” Lare said.

Proactive Driving School is a free defensive driving program, making stops across the country.

Lare is a former professional sports car driver and has been teaching driving for 16 years.

The majority of BRAKES instructors are former professional racers, police officers and highway patrol officers.

“Being able to help someone and give them that confidence and knowing that I’ve done something positive – positive not only for them but for the community. It’s a big deal for me,” Lare said.

BRAKES was founded by NHRA Drag Racer Doug Herbert.

Herbert lost two sons in a car accident almost 15 years ago, and he has dedicated his life to preventing similar tragedies ever since.