DEARBORN – Ford Motor Company is bringing its teen driving safety campaign to the red carpet at Variety’s
Power of Youth event. The annual event honoring young entertainers and their contributions to philanthropic organizations and causes is being held this Saturday, Sept. 15 at Paramount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.
In the spirit of promoting efforts that make a positive difference, Ford will highlight the importance of teen driving safety on the red carpet, making its widely recognized Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program available to hundreds of teens in attendance. Among the honored young guests are The Jonas Brothers, Kat Graham, Vanessa Hudgens, Sarah Hyland, Diego Boneta and Jordin Sparks.
“We are excited to take part in an event that recognizes the commitment of young people to making a positive difference,” said Jim Vella,president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “This is also a great opportunity for Ford to help elevate the conversation around teen driving safety.”
As part of the partnership, Ford will provide hundreds of teen drivers an opportunity to get behind the wheel to practice safe driving skills and get tips from professional drivers. A driver distraction course will test their ability to manage distracting situations and demonstrate the importance of keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
“The spotlight on youth-empowered leadership highlighted by Ford Driving Skills for Life at the Variety Power of Youth event promotes the issue of teen traffic safety to attract young people to learn about and make safe driving decisions behind the wheel,” said Sandy Spavone, executive director, National Organizations for Youth Safety. “The investment of Ford in the lives of young drivers helps to both educate them and provide the driving skills needed to keep them safe on the roads we all share.”
Ford also will conduct demonstrations of technologies designed to help make driving more comfortable, convenient and safe for young drivers, such as the company’s MyKey® and active park assist technologies.
An industry-first, MyKey helps new drivers develop safe driving habits, with features parents can program including a “Do Not Disturb” function that blocks incoming calls and texts and a “No Belt, No Tunes” function that mutes the audio system until front occupants buckle up.
Active park assist uses sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle to guide the vehicle into a parking space. The driver starts the system by pressing an instrument panel button, which activates the ultrasonic sensors to measure and identify a feasible parallel parking space. The steering system then takes over and steers the car into the parking space hands-free. The driver still shifts the transmission and operates the gas and brake pedals. Driving Skills for Life
Now in its ninth year, Ford DSFL is a partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association. The program includes free professional driver instruction, a Web-based curriculum, free educational materials, state grants and statewide education partnerships.
More than 3,000 teens ages 15-19 are killed each year on American roads, making traffic fatalities the leading cause of death of American teens, according to government statistics. As the most comprehensive driving skills program in the U.S., Ford DSFL is designed to make a difference with these preventable tragedies.
“Our aim with Ford Driving Skills for Life is to leave a lasting impression on teens who may not understand the risks associated with driving,” said Jim Graham, manager, Ford DSFL. “Inexperience is the leading cause of crashes in young drivers, and this program delivers the skill sets that can make them safer drivers.”
Ford DSFL continues to provide interactive Web-based training called “The Academy” on www.drivingskillsforlife.com
, and free materials upon request for students, educators, parents and community organizations.