The Issues Around Newly Licensed Drivers

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Nearly 3,000 teens die annually in such accidents, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Two major areas contribute to this alarming statistic: 1) inexperience of young drivers and 2) issues surrounding distracted and impaired driving. Both of these issues need to be addressed in any reputable teen safe driving program. 

 

Ford Driving Skills for Life – A Safe Driving Solution

Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs.

The program is international in scope touching not only the United States but many areas around the world.The basic premise behind Ford Driving Skills for Life is to provide a step in the learning process, providing new skills and information not currently shared with newly licensed drivers in the basic driver education courses.

Training is conducted in both hands-on and web-based curriculum and the entire program is available at no cost.Training conducted under the Ford Driving Skills for Life program addresses both the inexperience factor as well as issues surrounding distracted driving. Results over the past ten years of this effort have been outstanding. For best results, we encourage both teens and parents to engage in the instruction together.

 

Areas of Inexperience

Ford DSFL helps young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of vehicle crashes including:

 

1)  Hazard Recognition

  • The point of no return
  • How to scan for trouble
  • Minimizing distractions
  • Safety zones
  • Minimum vision lead time
  • Approaching and turning left at intersection


2) Vehicle Handling

  • Contact road patches
  • How acceleration, deceleration, braking and turns affect vehicle balance
  • Adjusting to a vehicle's size and weight
  • How to recover from skids in front- and rear-wheel drive vehicles


3) Speed Management

  • Driving at a speed that doesn't endanger or impede others
  • Using proper signals and covering the brake
  • Conventional braking systems versus anti-lock braking (ABS) systems
  • Emergency braking techniques


4) Space Management

  • Maintaining space around, ahead of and behind your vehicle
  • Learning how to adjust speed
  • Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles
  • How to avoid being rear-ended and avoiding a head-on crash

Distracted and Impaired Driving

  • Ford DSFL also addresses distracted driving and impaired driving in both the hands-on and web-based curriculum.

 

Major Program Elements

Ford DSFL is a FREE comprehensive program that includes learning tools such as:

  • Ride-and-drives where teens get behind the wheel and go through exercises on the four Ford DSFL skills. These are great opportunities for teens to gain experience, with a professional instructor at their side, in the four primary skills - Hazard Recognition, Vehicle Handling, Speed Management and Space Management. (click here for the Hands on Calendar of events)

  • Web site, www.drivingskillsforlife.com, includes the main learning area called The Academy, car care videos, several interactive games, and enhanced curriculum noting the importance of eco-driving to personal safety and the environment.

  • Electronic Educator packet that can be used by students and parents at home, as well as educators in the classroom and community settings. This FREE packet includes an in-depth video concentrating on each of our four driving skills, a letter for parents, a letter for educators, a leader's guide and brochures. To download materials, click here.