Ford's Driving Skills for Life Program to Save Teen Drivers #FordDSFL

During a week in October it was Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20-26). It was my first time learning about this but after my trip to learn more about Ford's Driving Skills for Life program, I realize how important a week like this is.

Ford's Driving Skills for Life Program to Save Teen Drivers

Note: I was invited as media to this event. Travel and hotel accommodations was provided for by Ford. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Did you know that the number one killer of teens is car accidents. Inexperience and distracted driving are the causes that lead to accidents. To help save more teen lives Ford formed the "Driving Skills for Life" program over 10 years ago. The program aims to teach teen how to be better drivers.

During my trip I had a first hand experience of Ford's Driving Skills for Life program and went through the steps along side parents and teens who signed up for the program.

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The first part of the program was to meet and hear from the professional drivers who were going to take the teen through the course. These men and women know how to handle automobiles in a range of conditions so can really share their knowledge with the teens.

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Then it was time to break up into groups and go through the different sections of the course and program.

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The first stop for my group was Hazard Recognition, where the teens learned.
  • How to scan for trouble
  • Minimizing distractions
  • Approaching and turning left at intersection

Our instructor was amazing and really took the time to explain things. After teaching the teens, he took the time to walk me (really drive) through the steps. Watch the below video to hear his advice for teens while going through this section.


The next course to visit was the Impaired Driving Simulation, where a police office and other law enforcement personal explained what happens when drivers are caught under the influence.

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They also helped teens understand what happens when you drive under the influence by using special goggle. While wearing these goggle, teens could "see" the effects being under the influence has on their ability to walk and drive.

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From there I went over to Vehicle Handling, to learn more about
  • How acceleration, deceleration, braking and turns affect vehicle balance
  • Adjusting to a vehicle's size and weight
  • Emergency braking techniques
During this course the teen learned how to come out of a slide safely. I have tell you this was the most nerve wrecking course. Being in a car as it slide is scary. I'm glad the instructors were there to explain to the teens what to do.

After the course I interviewed Susan Purkhiser, Professional Stunt Driver at Ford Driving Skills for Life, about this course and how important it is for teens.



Now that the teens learned how to handle their vehicles, it was time to learn how to handle themselves during the Distraction Course where they would try to drive AND text.

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During this course teens were allowed to text (among others exercises including changing the radio station) and try to drive. It was a real eye opener to teens who felt they could text and still keep focused on the road. They quickly learned they couldn't.

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We ended the day with learning how to care and maintain the vehicle. It was pointed out to teens areas of their vehicle they should pay attention to including under the hood and the wheels.

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Most vehicles come with colored warning sections and audio signals that need to be payed attention to. It's important to keep up the maintenance of vehicles so they can perform properly when needed.

Teens learned what their vehicle needs by reading the information provided within and on the different parts. For example tires come with information about the made on date. This is important when buying tires so you know how many more months or years you can use them.

There was so much to learn and do during the Ford's Driving Skills for Life program and I hope that the teens who attended use this knowledge to stay safe while they continue to drive.

Ford is concerned about the safety of new drivers and has reached many teen drivers with its Driving Skills for Life program. In 2013 Ford DSFL is doubling the number of students it reaches with its hands on driving programs to approximately 40,000. This includes visits to at least 40 high schools in Arizona, California, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia with an array of activities focused on common driving challenges faced by teen drivers.

In addition to the hands-on clinics, Ford Driving Skills for Life will reach an additional 150 high schools with its safe driving materials, Web-based learning, partnerships with state highway safety agencies, fun contests and free educational materials for parents and teachers.

More information is available online at www.DrivingSkillsforLife.com

This year Ford added MyKey technology to more than 6 million Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the United States. Ford MyKey is designed to limit distractions and focus attention on helping teens build safe driving habits.

For more information on Ford MyKey, visit www.ford.com/technology

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