|Our name stands for Michael Appleby Keeping Us Safe. We were founded in memory of Michael, who was a student at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he died in a car crash ten days after his 16th birthday. On November 20, 2001, Michael missed a poorly-marked sharp turn. His car left the road, went into a grove of trees and flipped. Michael was not wearing a seatbelt. He was partially ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
Stories like Michael’s happen 20 times every day in the United States. Death and injury are epidemic among young drivers. Michael’s mother, Judy, and sister, Kristen, became safety advocates soon after Michael died. With the help of many friends and family members, they formed MAKUS to help save the lives of other teens and prevent families from having to endure the pain their family have had to endure.
The mission of the MAKUS Buckle Up! Drive Safely! organization is to inform, mentor and foster good driving habits through comprehensive teen driver education, awareness, and advocacy in order to save lives and reduce serious injury. We offer teenagers a unique approach to education and awareness of driver safety issues, by shifting their focus beyond the minimal skills they must learn to pass a driving exam to the many risks associated with driving. We want to help teenagers to become better drivers and make good choices while operating a vehicle!