Hands-On Advanced Driver Training Clinics as Part of 2018 Summer Tour
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the U.S. Driver inexperience is the leading factor in the majority of crashes, followed by distracted and impaired driving.
- Free, hands-on driver training clinics provide professional advanced driving instruction beyond what is learned in drivers’ education, including through the use of Ford’s Drugged, Drunk and Hangover Suits to simulate the effects of impaired driving for teens and parents.
- The 2018 tour marks the 15th year of the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, with more than one million people trained in all 50 United States and 39 countries.
Ford Driving Skills for Life, a free, hands-on training program for newly permitted and licensed drivers, is coming to West Chicago July 21-22, 2018 as part of its 15th national tour. More than 300 teen drivers will receive advanced driving instruction over the course of the two-day program at the DuPage Airport Lot.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the U.S. Every year, an average of 3,000 teens, ages 16-19, die in vehicle crashes. The award-winning program helps new drivers stay safe behind the wheel by capturing teen and parent interest with free, hands-on driving clinics that pair newly licensed drivers with professional driving instructors.
Beyond traditional driver’s education training, the program focuses on the issues and obstacles that cause crashes. Ford Driving Skills for Life helps young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60 percent of vehicle crashes: hazard recognition, vehicle handling, and speed and space management.
The program also focuses heavily on distracted and impaired driving. The Drugged, Drunk and Hangover Suits are designed to be used with teens and parents to simulate the effects of impaired driving.
“We are excited to bring our global award-winning program to Chicago,” said James Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. “We look forward to expanding our efforts to help reduce the number of crashes and fatalities through real-world training and teaching improved decision-making skills. Partnering with our Illinois Ford dealers and the Illinois Department of Transportation, we believe we are making a substantial contribution to safer driving for local students and parents in the Chicago metro area.”
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were a total of 6,806 occupant fatalities and serious injuries in vehicle crashes involving teens and young adults, ages 16-20, in the state between 2012 and 2016.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation recognizes the importance of enhanced behind-the-wheel instruction for teens. These novice drivers make up almost 7 percent of our population, but account for almost 14 percent of serious injuries and fatalities,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “This partnership with the Driving Skills for Life program is one more tool for beginning drivers to get the knowledge and practical experience they need to make our roads safer for everyone.”
Ford Driving Skills of Life also offers free virtual reality and web-based educational programming. Teens, as well as parents, should visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com to engage in “The Academy,” which focuses on areas of inexperience and distracted/impaired driving.
Additional online program elements include a comprehensive school safety kit to support peer-to-peer programming in schools, a parent-teen pledge and a host of other free educational materials.
“Mission Not Accomplished: Teen Safe Driving, the Next Chapter,” a Governors Highway Safety Association report released in 2016, shows that despite progress reducing teen driving deaths from 2005 to 2014, teen drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults 35-40. Special emphasis includes instruction for drivers ages 18-20, who are involved in more fatal crashes than younger teens.
To learn more about the Ford Driving Skills for Life 2018 Summer Tour and to register, please visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
*Source: Governors Highway Safety Association “Mission Not Accomplished: Teen Safe Driving, the Next Chapter”
About Ford Driving Skills for Life
Established in 2003, Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts developed Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL), a free program which teaches teens necessary skills for safe driving. Now in its fifteenth year, Ford DSFL is active in the United States and 39 other countries around the world. More than one million people have been trained through hands-on and web-based training. The basic premise behind Ford Driving Skills for Life is to provide a step in the learning process, providing new skills and information not currently shared with newly licensed drivers in the basic driver education courses. For more information, visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford’s legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit https://corporate.ford.com/company/community/ford-fund.html.
About 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, 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 www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.
Press Release Courtesy of Ford Driving Skills for Life