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Ford Driving Skills for Life Training Delivered to 6,100 Young Europeans, Highlights Risks of Selfies and Drunk Driving

December 24, 2014

  • Ford has provided hands-on driver training to more than 6,100 18 to 24-year-olds across Europe as part of the award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life programme
  • Nearly all who attended the 133 sessions across  eight countries since the programme launched in Europe in late 2013, said they felt more confident after the training and would recommend the course to friends
  • In Europe, car crashes are the leading cause of death in 18 to 24-year-olds. Training highlights the risks of activities such as taking selfies at the wheel, and drinking and driving
  • Ford’s special “Drink Driving Suit” shows students how consuming alcohol before driving impairs abilities
  • Ford was the first car manufacturer to introduce free comprehensive advanced hands-on driver training for newly licensed drivers
  • Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided training to more than half a million people globally through hands-on and online tuition since first being launched 11 years ago in the U.S.

 

  • Ford Motor Company has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the more than 6,100 18 to 24-year-olds across Europe who have received hands-on driver training as part of the award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program.


COLOGNE, Germany, Dec. 22, 2014 - Car crashes are the leading cause of death for Europeans in that age group*, and Ford’s training – launched in Europe in late 2013 – includes highlighting the risks of distractions such as taking selfies at the wheel, and the dangers of drinking and driving.

Nearly all who have attended 133 Ford Driving Skills for Life training sessions in 27 venues, across eight countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the U.K. – said afterwards that they felt more confident as a result of the training and would recommend the programme to a friend.

“We are making a valuable connection with young drivers. That 99 per cent of young men and women who attended Ford Driving Skills for Life said they would recommend the training to a friend is the best possible endorsement,” said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe. “If this programme helps save just one life, it will have been worth it.”

Ford was the first car manufacturer to introduce free comprehensive advanced hands-on driver training for newly licensed drivers. In the 11 years since it was launched in the U.S., Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided training to more than half a million people globally through hands-on and online tuition. The company is considering further roll-out in Europe in 2015.

For Driving Skills for Life, Ford teamed up with leading safety organisations including Association Prévention Routière in France, Deutscher Verkehrssicherheitsrat in Germany, the ACI in Italy, Road Safety Russia in Russia, Dirección General de Tràfico in Spain, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and AA Driving School in the U.K.

Training is designed to address some of the leading factors in young driver accidents, including hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed/space management and distractions. This includes showing students how they might recover from a slide, emergency braking techniques, and how to scan the road ahead for trouble. Attempting slow speed manoeuvres in a closed environment while using a mobile phone show how distraction affects driving performance.

This year, Ford introduced training to specifically highlight the dangers of taking selfies and other social media activity at the wheel, and employed a special “Drink Driving Suit” to show the degree to which consuming alcohol before driving impairs abilities.

In 2014, Ford published the results of two surveys that showed more than one in four young people have taken a selfie while driving, ** and that most young drivers in Europe report either have driven while drunk, or have seen friends drink and drive. ***

“We are constantly re-evaluating the most effective ways in which to bring home serious messages. Seeing someone struggle to complete a simple task while wearing the “Drink Driving Suit” usually raises a laugh or two, but it’s clear people are also thinking ‘how could anyone drive when their abilities are impacted to that degree?’” said Jim Graham, manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life.

Consisting of tunnel-vision glasses; ear muffs, wrist and ankle weights; and padding to elbows, neck, and knees; the “Drink Driving Suit” makes even simple tasks – such as walking a straight line – much harder; and demonstrates how much more difficult a more complex activity like driving becomes under the influence of alcohol.

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