• In a major expansion of the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, teens in high schools spanning 15 states will learn proper driving skills through hands-on driving clinics with professional drivers at their own high school parking lots
• The program – an award-winning, free driver’s education program – offers hands-on driving clinics, web training, contests and other interactive tools to teach new drivers safe driving skills
CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2011 – The Ford Motor Company Fund is investing another $1 million to fight the No. 1-killer of American teens, working with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to expand Ford’s free driving skills program to high schools in 15 states.
Starting this month, the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) National Tour takes free driving exercises, web-based training and materials on driving safety to 30 high schools nationwide to augment its community driving clinics and web-based training.
“Inexperience is the leading cause of crashes in young drivers, and this program delivers the key skill sets that will increase their knowledge, confidence and, ultimately, their safety,” said Sue Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Ford is passionate about helping young drivers learn the rules of the road, better manage distractions behind the wheel and help make America’s roads safer for all of us.”
More than 3,000 teens, ages 15-19, are killed on American roads each year, according to government statistics.
Ford developed Driving Skills for Life in 2003 in partnership with GHSA, delivering one of the nation’s most comprehensive teen driver safety programs.
This year, the expanded Ford program will reach high schools in these market areas: Birmingham, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Hartford, Conn.; Orlando and Tallahassee, Fla.; Atlanta; Shreveport, La.; Portland, Maine; Boston; Jackson, Miss.; Manchester, N.H.; Albany, N.Y.; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Providence, R.I.; Charleston, S.C.; and Burlington, Vt.
Ford DSFL builds young drivers’ skills in four key areas: driver distraction, speed space management and vehicle handling and hazard recognition. These four areas are contributors to more than 60 percent of teen crashes.
In addition to hands-on events, the program offers learning tools such as an interactive website (www.drivingskillsforlife.com) with learning modules, quizzes, car care and driving tip videos and games. Free educator packets are available for students, parents, educators and community organizations.
“This new commitment will bring Ford DSFL into many more communities. State highway safety offices will be able to use this program to complement ongoing laws and programs,” said GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey Jr. “While teen driving safety is a key priority, too often our communities lack the resources to conduct these types of hands-on, high-tech trainings. We are grateful to Ford for helping fill these critical gaps.”
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and American heritage and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 20,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in dozens of countries. For more information, visit http://www.community.ford.com/.
About the Governors Highway Safety Association
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit http://www.ghsa.org/.