Teenagers Make Up 7% of the Colorado Drivers but 15% of the Fatal Accidents.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year olds, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
This month, Ford Motor Company along with the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and Colorado Department of Transportation is bringing Ford’s award-winning FREE Safe Driving Program to Denver for the first time.
The Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program is a safe driving intensive program for teen drivers. The program focuses on driving skills and hazards that teens don’t get in a regular driver training program such as distracted driving (including texting), vehicle handling, driving under the influence, and obstacle identification and reaction. It is an awesome hands-on driving experience led by professional drivers.
“We are excited to host Ford Driving Skills for Life here in Denver for the first time,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at the Colorado Department of Transportation. “We know that teaching teens to drive can be a daunting process, which is why we welcome this driving “summer camp” to our area. It’s such a great resource for teens to hone a variety driving skills with renowned experts–it’s both fun and educational.”
Ford Driving Program Coming to Denver
On July 22-23, 2014 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Denver program will consist of two four-hour sessions daily of hands-on advanced driver training. Each session can hold 100 students. Teens and their parents can register by visiting www.drivingskillsforlife.com. Registration is limited and signed consent forms are required, in addition to a driver’s license or permit.
The award-winning program, which is entering its second decade, includes web-based and hands-on training as well as educational materials. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 3,000 teens, ages 15-19, are killed on American roads each year; motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers..
“We look forward to helping these teens learn proper decision making techniques regarding safe driving,” said Jim Graham, manager of Ford Driving Skills for Life. “We put them in situations that they may face on the road and teach them how to respond properly, with the help of professional drivers.”
Hands-on Driving Exercises
Specially equipped vehicles and professional instructors will be on site to offer teen drivers hands-on driving exercises that build their skills in four key areas: driver distraction, speed and space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition.
This year will also mark the introduction of curriculum surrounding the new trend of taking mobile self-portraits known as “driving selfies”.
“Over the last 10 years we have taken pride in our ability to adjust the Ford Driving Skills for Life curriculum to keep up with the constantly changing world awaiting new drivers,” Graham said. “A few years ago, who would have thought we would have to be telling teens not to take selfies while driving? We have to constantly monitor teen driving trends and modify our program accordingly.”
Training to 550,000 New Drivers
Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) are starting the 11th year of bringing Ford Driving Skills for Life directly to new, young drivers and their parents across the United States through a variety of activities. Ford Driving Skills for Life has expanded to 15 international markets, and to date, has trained more than 550,000 new drivers around the globe through online and professional hands-on driver instruction.
Future stops on the 2014 Ford DSFL tour include Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; Kentucky; West Virginia; and Kansas City.
Photos Courtesy of Ford