- Ford Driving Skills for Life is unveiling several new virtual reality tools in the United States this year, including distracted driving technology, a new hangover suit, and a program that teaches the ins and outs of maneuvering through roundabouts
- 2018 U.S. tour includes 60 hands-on sessions, reaching more than 5,500 students who will learn critical skills such as vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed and space management, as well as how to manage distraction and impairment; new pilot program focusing on rural drivers will launch in North Carolina and South Carolina
- Global expansion for 2018 takes Driving Skills for Life programming to Cambodia, Czech Republic and Morocco; women drivers in Saudi Arabia will receive training for the first time
- Ford Driving Skills for Life celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with a U.S. event to acknowledge key partners in its endeavor to educate and help new drivers stay safe on the road
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 16, 2018 – Ford Driving Skills for Life celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with significant program expansions and the addition of new technologies to help new drivers stay safe on the road.
The 2018 U.S. Driving Skills for Life tour kicks off this month in New Orleans at NOLA Motorsports Park. A signature program of the Ford Motor Company Fund, Driving Skills for Life has provided free driver training to more than 1 million new licensed drivers in 40 countries. Ford has committed more than $50 million to date to this award-winning program.
Ford Driving Skills for Life captures teen and parent interest with free, hands-on driving courses that pair newly licensed drivers with professional driving instructors, focusing on the issues and obstacles drivers face that cause crashes, including impaired and distracted driving due to the use of drugs and alcohol.
“As we celebrate 15 years of stellar programing to keep new drivers safe, we continue to build momentum with new technologies that help to ensure smart driving,” said James Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. “Our program is expanding in multiple ways – by reaching more people here and abroad, and by offering cutting-edge technologies that enhance our curriculum. We look forward to many more years of success. And we are proud to be the global leader in training new drivers to keep them safer behind the wheel.”
Highlights of this year’s Ford Driving Skills for Life program include:
- 13-city U.S. tour to include communities and cities new to the hands-on experience
- 15-year celebration to acknowledge key Driving Skills for Life partners
- Expansion of the international program to Cambodia, Czech Republic and Morocco. Women in Saudi Arabia will receive training for the first time
- New virtual reality innovations that will improve technical skills such as maneuvering through roundabouts
- Unveiling of a new distracted driving tool in the United States, with students donning goggles that allow them to experience a driving situation that forces them to make real-world decisions, such as managing text messages, navigation systems and passenger distractions while on the road
- Use of a new hangover suit, primarily for adult drivers; suit simulates the difficulty of driving while recovering from excessive consumption of alcohol
- Introduction of a pilot program in rural markets starting in North Carolina and South Carolina; implementation to be done in partnership with Vidant Healthcare to explore the unique needs in rural communities
- A refresh of “The Academy,” a web-based curriculum at www.drivingskillsforlife.com; new training will be available to teens and parents, as well as serve as a refresher to nontraditional adult drivers. Outside of the United States, this has been useful to those who operate buses, taxis and ride-sharing services
Working with its national partner, Governors Highway Safety Association, the Ford Driving Skills for Life tour will reach Arizona, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia this year. It will include a summer tour across the Midwest touching Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.
Despite progress to reduce teen driving deaths, teen drivers have crash rates three times higher than drivers age 20 and older per mile driven, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The association notes that in 2016, 16- to 20-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes increased by 3.6 percent.
“Novice drivers continue to pose a risk to themselves and others, as teen driver fatalities have increased in recent years,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director, Governors Highway Safety Association. “Since its inception in 2003, Ford Driving Skills for Life has been a valuable educational supplement for new drivers, especially in communities where traditional driving instruction is no longer offered. We are looking forward to the expansion of this powerful program and the many new technologies it will introduce.”
For more information and updates on tour locations, visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 202,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
About Ford Driving Skills for Life
Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed teens and parents the necessary skills for safe driving. Now in its 15th year, the premise behind Ford Driving Skills for Life is to provide a step in the learning process by offering new skills and information not currently shared with newly licensed drivers in the basic driver education courses. The program has trained more than 1 million individuals in safe driving practices. It has been offered in 40 countries, and hands-on driving clinics have been conducted in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. For more information visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
About Ford Motor Company Fund
Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Established in 1949, Ford Fund invests in transformational programs that advance innovation, empower people, promote social mobility and improve community prosperity. Ford Fund works with local and global partners to create opportunities in education, encourage safe driving, enlist employee volunteers and enrich community life. Ford Fund’s signature programs include Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford College Community Challenge, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Driving Skills for Life, Ford Next Generation Learning and the Ford Volunteer Corps. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com, or join us on Facebook @FordFund and Twitter @FordFund.
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.
Images provided courtesy of Ford Motor Company