MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico – Ford Motor Company and the Ford Fund are helping to improve driver and passenger safety in Puerto Rico.
More than 60 young women, ages 16–19, along with parents and teachers, recently participated in the Ready, Safe, Drive! training program, a safety initiative created by Ford and Meharry Medical College. The program focuses on road safety strategies, traffic laws and basic concepts of vehicle maintenance, providing strategies and tools to help participants gain confidence behind the wheel.
Automotive technicians from Mayagüez Ford taught the teens how to diagnose problems, check fluid levels and perform minor repairs, including changing a tire. The participants then got to practice these skills with the help of professionals. They also learned about vehicle safety features and how to improve car control.
A representative of Meharry Medical College offered advice on road safety, including how the teens could protect themselves if they are ever alone in a broken-down vehicle. The young women also learned about the importance of avoiding distractions.
According to the Puerto Rican Commission for Traffic Safety, an average of 400 people die annually in traffic accidents on the island; approximately 28 percent of these victims are young people, ages 16 to 25. Education is vital in order to prevent fatal car accidents, as well as to help develop a sense of responsibility among drivers.
“The safety of drivers and passengers is a priority for Ford,” said Mark Buzzell, director for Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Central America, Ford International Business Development. “During this month dedicated to women, we are pleased to give these young women the resources and skills necessary for their safety on the road.”
Ford Motor Company has helped more than 1,000 young women since 2007 through Ready, Safe, Drive! This program, which is conducted at Ford dealerships, promotes the development of safe-driving skills among young women in order to keep them and others safe on the road. It is offered in Puerto Rico as part of Ford’s Operation Goodwill, a series of social responsibility efforts that provide support to community initiatives and nonprofit organizations.