Ford aims to improve vehicle safety not only through the development of advanced safety technologies, but also through driver training programs. This includes the Driving Skills for Life program, which offers free, hands-on driving courses that pair newly licensed drivers with professional driving instructors, focusing on the issues and obstacles drivers face that cause crashes.
Addressing the High Rate of Teen Driving Deaths
The impetus of the Driving Skills for Life program is the need to address the dangers of teen driving. Despite progress to reduce teen driving deaths, teen drivers have crash rates three times higher than drivers age 20 and older per mile driven, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The association notes that in 2016, 16- to 20-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes increased by 3.6%.
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Expansion of Ford Driving Skills for Life Program
The Ford Driving Skills for Life program, which is now in its 15th year, is greatly expanding its offerings for 2018. It will have several new virtual reality tools in the United States this year, including distracted driving technology, a new hangover suit, and a program that teaches the ins and outs of maneuvering through roundabouts. The 2018 U.S. tour includes 60 hands-on sessions, reaching more than 5,500 students who will learn critical skills such as vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed and space management, as well as how to manage distraction and impairment. Also, Driving Skills for Life will expand its global reach, with new programming in Cambodia, the Czech Republic and Morocco. Additionally, women drivers in Saudi Arabia will receive training for the first time.