Fact: The fatality rate of drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years, based on miles driven, is four times the fatality rate of drivers between the ages of 25 and 69.
DEARBORN - Due to the increased risk of fatality associated with teen drivers, in 2007 the federal government named the third week in October National Teen Driver Safety Week and began using this time each year to educate parents and teen drivers on how to improve safety on the road. While the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, established in 2003, uses hands on training to improve teen driving safety all year round, the group released the following list of safe driving tips to support the national week of awareness building.
1. Engage in the driving process – As teens get closer to earning/acquiring their learner’s permit, parents should actively engage with them about driving. Talk about safe driving behaviors, practice with them, seek educational opportunities, and be clear that unsafe actions won’t be tolerated.
2. Buckle up – It’s the law. In a crash, a person not buckled up is much more likely to be injured or killed than someone wearing a safety belt. Always buckle up and require all passengers to buckle up for everyone’s safety.
3. Never speed – Research done for Ford’s Driving Skills for Life shows that if parents speed, their teens are more likely to do the same. Speed-related factors continue to be reported in about one-third of all traffic deaths nationally.
4. Don’t drive distracted – By setting a tough “no distractions” rule for teens, young drivers will keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
5. Don’t follow too closely – Keep the proper distance from the car in front of you. Remember that the faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop. Doubling vehicle speed can nearly quadruple the distance required to stop.
6. Limit the number of passengers – Graduated Driver License laws restrict the number passenger for novice drivers to help reduce the potential for distraction and focus on the driving task.
7. Never drink and drive – Under-age use of alcohol and illicit drugs is illegal, and combining alcohol or drugs with driving can be deadly at any age.
According to James Graham, manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life program, Ford Motor Company Fund, as the DSFL travels to various regions hosting courses, employees in the vicinity are invited to attend.
For employees in the southeast Michigan area, Graham added there is one annual employee-only DSFL program that takes place in Dearborn, Mich., each May. However, employees may want to set a reminder on their calendar now because this event has become so popular that the 400 open slots have been known to fill up within just five minutes.
Employees interested in obtaining more information about DSFL driving course dates and locations can visit the DSFL website.