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Wagner Reese Gets Behind Indianapolis Soap Box Club

Jason Reese

Wagner Reese Supports Indianapolis Soap Box Club, Pushes Safe Recreational Practices For Young Adults

Indiana is home to the Wilbur Shaw Soap Box Derby Hill, one of the longest tracks in the country, measuring 1,000 feet. In 2017, Wagner Reese is proud to be supporting the track and the Indianapolis Soap Box Club this year. Headquartered at the Shepherd Community Center, the not-for-profit is organized as an after school club working directly with the Indianapolis Soap Box Derby. The club engages students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) through the medium of Soap Box Derby. By employing a STEAM-based education program designed around building and racing SBD cars in the “Racing Capitol of the World”, students are mentored and learn while having fun in the process.

Supporting the Reduction of Soap Box Car Injuries

Educating young Soap Box Drivers with the STEAM program is important but keeping drivers safe – especially from head injuries is also a priority. A recent study by an Indiana University researcher concluded that young adults (and children) who have suffered severe head injuries, and those who had more than one head injury, were more likely to be affected in the future. So before your child coasts downhill at “breakneck speed” in a small car with no engine, make sure they are protected from injuries and accident-prone decision making with these tips from the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD).

Don’t Be Afraid To Stop. Tell your kids if they need to stop for whatever reason, just stop. That includes stopping for any reason that might make them feel uncomfortable driving like: an animal on the track, dust disrupting their vision, or if a helmet comes loose. Your child should always feel comfortable putting on the brakes. Let them know officials won’t hold this against them.

Hands On The Wheel. Although most young drivers will want to raise their hands at the finish line, they will need to keep steering until the car comes to a stop. Just like driving a car, if you don’t have your hands on the wheel, you are not in control. The same message needs to be sent to SBD drivers.

No Helmet. No Ride. Check to make sure the helmet is strapped on properly. It’s the only way to protect his or her head if they crash, rollover or are suddenly ejected from the car. They need to be wearing a helmet during practice runs as well. Head and brain injuries can have serious long-term effects, and the results of Traumatic Brain Injuries can be life altering.

Start Slow. Make sure your child can control his car even when he’s going really fast. It is a good idea to start them slowly, on smaller hills and roadways tracks to allow them to get comfortable with the speed. Teach him safe driving practices too. For example, over-steering can lead to a spin-out or cause a car to hit the guardrail.

Stay Alert. Make sure your young driver knows to stay alert and not allow himself or her to be distracted. That means no texting or cell phones in the SB car. Sideline friends cheering while operating the SB car can also easily distract them but they should avoid trying to communicate with onlookers. Also, they will need to be making sure there are no pedestrians in the way before they dart down the track. People will not hear a SB car coming at them since it has no engine.

Wear The Right Gear. Open-toe shoes are not appropriate. A SB driver’s footwear should have a sole with a good grip to decrease the chance his or her foot will slip while braking. Long, heavier fabric sleeves also are a good idea. They’ll add a bit of skin protection in a crash. Shorts are okay, though, especially if riding on hot, Indianapolis summer day.

Support The Indianapolis Soap Box Club

Wagner Reese invites other businesses and individuals to also support this growing nonprofit through gifts of your time and resources. If you feel called in any of these areas, please contact Daric Moenter at (888) 204-8440 or dmoenter@gmail.com. You can also make a contribution directly to the club by visiting www.shepherdcommunity.org and entering “Soap Box Derby” in the comments section.

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