Encouraging Safer Driving

Driver behavior is a key contributing factor in many vehicle crashes.1 We at Ford have developed an array of programs and technologies that help to encourage safer behavior on the roadways, for both experienced and novice drivers.

Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL), our flagship driver-education program, demonstrates our commitment to help new drivers to improve their motoring skills. In the U.S., Ford DSFL focuses on teen drivers; in our Asia Pacific and Africa markets, the program is aimed at novice drivers of all ages.

In 2012 in the U.S., Ford DSFL visited more than 175 high schools in ten states and Puerto Rico, where we held assemblies, safe driving activities and hands-on training. We trained more than 9,000 students and parents with hands-on instruction and reached nearly 20,000 students with safe driving messaging through school assemblies. The Ford DSFL program delivers a full day of multifaceted activities that build young drivers’ skills in four key areas: driver distraction, speed/space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition. Ford DSFL continues to provide interactive web-based training called “The Academy” at www.drivingskillsforlife.com, and offers free materials upon request for students, educators, parents and community organizations.

In September 2012, Ford DSFL collaborated with Variety to encourage safe driving at the annual Power of Youth event, which honors the charitable efforts of Hollywood’s young entertainers. Ford DSFL was onsite at Paramount Pictures Studios for the event, taking hundreds of teens through a driver distraction course, providing safe driving tips and demonstrating new technologies designed to help make driving more comfortable, convenient and safe for young drivers.

Ford Driving Skills for Life, our driver education program, collaborated with Variety to encourage safe driving at an event honoring the charitable efforts of Hollywood's young entertainers.

In Ford’s global markets, Ford DSFL celebrated its fifth year training newly licensed drivers in Asia and Africa, with programs in China, India, Taiwan, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Also in 2012, a pilot Ford DSFL program took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, and we also launched the program for the first time in the Middle East – in the United Arab Emirates. In all of the global markets in which Ford DSFL operates, the program is tailored to reflect the local driving environment and road conditions. So far, more than 63,000 people have participated in the program across the global regions.

2012 marked the fifth year that Ford DSFL participated in the Operation Teen Safe Driver program in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Secretary of State and state police. The program gets high school students directly involved in safe driving behaviors by challenging them to develop and implement teen safe driving community-awareness campaigns using Ford DSFL resources. Since the program’s launch in 2007, teen vehicle crash deaths in Illinois have decreased by 48 percent. In 2012 in Michigan, Ford DSFL launched “Strive 4 a Safer Drive,” a pilot program modeled after the Illinois program.

In 2013, Ford DSFL will take its program to more than 200 high schools in eight U.S. states, reaching more than 40,000 students. Ford DSFL will also continue its global expansion, including developing programs in major European markets as well as Canada.

On the technology side, the Ford MyKey® system is an innovative technology designed to help parents encourage their teenagers to drive more safely. MyKey allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed to 65, 70, 75 or 80 mph and also can invoke SYNC’s Do Not Disturb feature, which sends incoming phone calls and text messages to the paired phone’s mailbox. MyKey encourages safety-belt usage by enabling Ford’s Belt-Minder® to chime every minute indefinitely until both of the front passengers are buckled in, rather than ceasing after five minutes, and also through a “no belt/no tunes” feature that mutes the audio system until the belt is buckled. In addition, MyKey provides an earlier low-fuel warning (at 75 miles to empty rather than 50); sounds speed-alert chimes at 45, 55 or 65 mph; and will not allow manual override of other safety systems. MyKey is available on nearly all Ford Motor Company retail vehicles in North America, and its availability is expanding to other regions.

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey: Report to Congress (Washington, DC: U.S. DOT, July 2008).


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