Ford Driving Skills for Life launches its 13th global tour with the addition of a new Drugged Driving Suit for its U.S. curriculum that’s designed to stress the dangers of driving while impaired.
The 2016 program also provides experiences with a Drunk Driving Suit, which debuted in 2013. Students attending ride-and-drive events will wear both suits to gain perspective on how being impaired can slow movement, reduce coordination, blur vision and make tasks difficult. They’ll also learn the importance of safety belt use and pedestrian safety, and about the risks of drowsy driving.
Driving Skills for Life takes its training to 15 stops in the United States this year, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as other states.
The safe driving message also expands globally as the tour travels to Argentina, Bahrain, Finland, Oman, Poland and South Korea. To date, Driving Skills for Life has reached 800,000 new drivers of all ages with free ride-and-drive courses, school and community events, and its interactive website. By the end of 2016, the program will have reached 1 million people in 35 countries.
“Despite progress in recent years, teens continue to be overrepresented in motor vehicle crashes and fatalities across the country,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director, Governors Highway Safety Association. “For this reason, the association and the State Highway Safety Offices are looking forward to bringing this powerful program to even more teens and their parents – coast to coast and around the globe.”
Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of safety experts with the mission of teaching newly licensed drivers the necessary skills for safer driving and the importance of making good decisions behind the wheel.
Through free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses, classroom material and an interactive website, the core curriculum focuses on vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed management and space management, which account for 60 percent of all crashes.
In its first 12 years, Ford Driving Skills for Life provided hands-on training to more than 41,000 teens in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Thousands of teens and parents have used the Web-based curriculum at www.drivingskillsforlife.com.