VANCOUVER - While traveling south from Alaska, Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) made one Canadian stop in the Vancouver area, teaching newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs. This pilot program – aimed at combating the driver inexperience that leads to traffic crashes, which is the number one killer of teens - also includes web-based training and educational materials.
The event was held recently at Dr. Charles Best Secondary School in Coquitlam, British Columbia. A transport truck with specially equipped vehicles and professional instructors came directly to the high school for a full day of multifaceted activities that build young drivers’ skills in four key areas: driver distraction, speed/space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition.
“By immersing ourselves in high schools for a day, the Ford Driving Skills for Life program seeks to leave a lasting impression on teens and ultimately make them safer drivers,” said Jim Graham, community relations manager, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Inexperience is the leading cause of crashes in young drivers, and this program delivers the key skill sets that increase their knowledge and confidence.”
According to Statistics Canada, almost a quarter of all fatalities in Canada last year were young people, aged16 to 24. Young drivers 16 to 24 years of age are continually at a higher risk of being killed in vehicle crashes than all other age groups.
Reducing the number of traffic fatalities and injuries remains the key mission for DSFL, which utilizes training to speed up the learning process and bridge the experience gap for new drivers.
Global, virtual extensions
Ford DSFL begins its fifth year training newly licensed drivers in Asia, with programs in China, India, Taiwan, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. DSFL programs are tailored to reflect the local driving environment and road conditions. As an example, in Vietnam training was localized to include tips for driving in flooded and slippery areas as well as mountains.
Ford DSFL continues to provide interactive web-based training called “The Academy” on www.drivingskillsforlife.com, and free materials for download or printed materials upon request for students, educators, parents and community organizations.