There is nothing more important than saving lives. Ford Motor Company produces some of the safest vehicles in the world and the company is expanding the reach of its driver safety programs to fight the number one killer of American teens – traffic accidents.
Ford Motor Company Fund is investing another $1 million to expand the company's award-winning Driving Skills for Life (DSFL). The program – offering free hands-on driving clinics, classroom instruction and interactive web-based learning – will visit 30 high schools in 15 states, allowing students the opportunity to train with professional drivers in their own school parking lots.
"Inexperience is the leading cause of crashes for 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."
Ford developed Driving Skills for Life in 2003 in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Government statistics show more than 3,000 teens, ages 15-19, are killed on American roads each year. Ford DSFL helps build the skills of young drivers in several key areas - driver distraction, speed, space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition. These situations contribute to more than 60 percent of teen crashes.
"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 Vernon F. Betkey Jr., chairman, GHSA.
"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."
In 2011, the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) National Tour will augment its community driving clinics and web-based training with free driving exercises.
The expanded Ford program will reach high schools in 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.
To learn more about Ford DSFL visit our interactive web site at www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
The site includes driving tips, a learning module, quizzes, games and car care videos.
Free educator packets also are available for students, parents, educators and community organizations.