Ford hosted another Driving Skills for Life driving camp in Washington D.C. just before a two-day summit created by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the topic of distracted driving. The connection of the two is a natural. The Ford Driving Skills for Life driving camp educates and trains teens on safe driving, and the U.S. government found that in 2008, the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group. In fact, 16 percent of all under-20 drivers in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. Vehicle crashes are the top killer of teenagers in America, claiming nearly 5,000 lives each year. Additionally, teens account for three times as many fatal accidents as other drivers, according to the U.S. government.
In an effort to reduce teen crashes and fatalities, the Ford Driving Skills for Life driving camp was created in 2003 in association with the Governors Highway Safety Association.® It is one of the nation’s most comprehensive teen-driver safety programs. This free, safe-driving event went well beyond typical driver education courses.
Participants were given instruction on safe-driving techniques from some of the nation’s top professional driving instructors. They also practiced these techniques in a safe environment. The techniques focused on four key skill areas: speed management, space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition. Experts have identified the lack of these skills as the cause of approximately 60 percent of vehicle crashes for newly licensed drivers ages 16 to 19 years old.
As a way of demonstrating the impact of distracted driving, participants were asked to text while driving through a course of cones, and then to answer handheld phones. The number of cones knocked over increased dramatically compared to when the drivers kept their eyes on the course instead of texting or talking on handheld devices.
You can learn more about Ford Driving Skills for Life by clicking here.
One of the technologies that is available on some Ford models to help avoid distracted driving is the SYNC® system. Please see the fact sheet below to learn more about the features of SYNC.
In addition to the Ford Driving Skills for Life driving camp, Ford’s recently introduced MyKeyTM technology helps parents encourage teenagers to drive safely through features that limit a vehicle’s top speed and audio volume, and encourage safety-belt usage. The information below provides a complete overview of the features MyKey offers.