Driving Skills for Life, Working to Save Young Lives

What's the number one killer of teenagers?  You might be surprised to hear it's not drugs, guns, or alcohol.  It's vehicle fatalities.  One car manufacturer that is making an effort to combat this problem is Ford with it's Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program.  With DSFL, Ford aims to educate new drivers about safe driving principles.  “We want to get the numbers down” says Jim Graham, Manager of DSFL.

DSFL events, which are held around the country, have overwhelming demand.  The events put teenagers behind the wheel with a professional race car driver to learn emergency maneuvers and how to handle dangerous road conditions and situations.  The hands-on instruction teaches the four key principles of DSFL: hazard recognition, speed management, space management, and vehicle handling.  You would think that teenagers would be excited at the opportunity to get into a car with a race car driver.  To some people, like a particular writer, it would be awesome to do this.  “At first they don't want to go.”  says Graham but, “Once they get into the car they want to do it again. We use young teachers that are considered cool and that the kids respond well too.”  Not only do teenagers love DSFL but parents have positive experiences as well.  “Parents get in the cars with teens.  For the most part they have not had professional driving safety training either.  They learn a lot as well.  Parents love the program.”

The program has saved lives in Illinois.  Outside Peoria 15 teenagers died in 1 year period.  DSFL went in to help address this issue.  They worked with the state and community and thus far there have been no new fatalities in the county.  They are now operating in the whole state and now there is a 50% reduction of teenage vehicle fatalities in the state of Illinois.  Great work!

DSFL also has help from celebrities to get the word out.  Kate Voegele, a musician and singer, talks with teenagers about safe driving habits through DSFL programs.  Colin Braun, a NASCAR driver, and Toby Keith, a country musician, have also contributed.  Braun spreads the message at tracks and through his social media network.  Keith made a Public Service Announcement (PSA) “No text message is worth your life” for DSFL.  The newest celebrity addition to the DSFL arsenal is Courtney Force, drag racing champion, and daughter of legendary drag racer John Force.  Courtney will be speaking with teenagers about safe driving habits around the country.

Ford not only aims to have DSFL events to teach teenagers and parents about driving, but to bring updated information right to you with their website.  “Learning to drive successfully is a life long learning experience.”  says Graham.  This is reflected in the vast content on the website which includes a safe driving simulator, educational materials, tips, videos, etc.  There are even downloadable school programs for teachers.  It's an all around resource for updated information regarding safe driving and how to develop better habits.

Driving Skills for Life is fully funded by Ford Motor Company.  The company even developed the program and will continue with it for a long time to come, as the number of newly licensed drivers grows every year.  In short, DSFL is a great service to the community that is saving lives.

Driver’s Edge at Fedex Field this weekend

Learning skid control

If you signed-up for the Driver's Edge course at Fedex Field, this is a reminder it's this Saturday and Sunday (June 18th and June 19th).  Here is my original article about it in case you missed it.  If you are unsure about taking the time out of your weekend to attend…. let me just tell you GO!  You will be surprised at everything you will learn as a parent or young driver.  It's an incredible course, and it's Free!  I can't stress enough how great these courses are and how much you will gain from it.  It's really the type of thing you will have to do to realize how much you don't know about handling a car.   Especially since American driver education is bad.  We definitely need to improve as a nation.  In Europe it is much more difficult to get a license, and it can take years.  In most US states the driving standards for getting a license are lax.  This creates a population of dangerous, unskilled, and unaware driver's on our roads.  Driver's Edge is not just about teaching people to drive, it's about saving people's lives.

 

Driver’s Edge: Real driving Education for Teens

Driver's Edge is a great organization with a very important mission. To save the lives of young drivers! The aim of Driver's Edge is to bring European driver education (which is more stringent and advanced) to US teenagers. The biggest killer of teenagers is not guns, drugs, or alcohol….. but car accidents. Bringing better driving education to this age group, Driver's Edge is trying to get those car accident deaths of young drivers down.

When you go out for the day to one of the Driver's Edge programs, it's a lot of fun. They will run a you through several different emergency maneuvering techniques. (In a BMW!) You'll get to experience what is like to take a car to it's limit in a controlled situation. You also get some Free goodies. I got a T-Shirt and emergency roadside kit, that I still have in my car.

I had a great time doing it and I highly recommend any teenagers sign-up or parents with teenagers sign-up and go. Best part about Driver's Edge? It's completely Free!

Driver's Edge will be conducting a program in Washington D.C. The program will be the weekend of June 18 & 19, 2011 at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. You must register for the program, if you are interested. It's done on a first come, first serve basis! Registration will open Thursday, May 12 AT 6:00pm (Eastern Daylight Time). Spots are expected to fill quickly, so please sign-up asap if you want a spot or a spot for your teenager. Driver's Edge is open to anyone age 21, or younger, with a valid learner's permit or driver's license.

4 Time Slots are Available, See below for instructions. Only register for one class. Students must stay for the full duration of the class.

  • Saturday, June 18, 8:00am – 12:30pm
  • Saturday, June 18, 1:00pm – 5:30pm
  • Sunday, June 19, 8:00am – 12:30pm
  • Sunday, June 19, 1:00pm – 5:30pm

On Thursday, May 12 at 6:00pm (Eastern Time), you will see that WASHINGTON D.C. will become available for registration on our Tour Schedule & Registration page (link below). Click on “register now” to sign up. **IMPORTANT NOTE** Submitting Registration – When completing your registration, there will be a submit button after you fill out the student's information: “Sign Me Up”. PLEASE CLICK THE “SIGN ME UP” BUTTON ONLY ONCE. After clicking “sign me up”, the next page will take SEVERAL MINUTES TO LOAD. Every time “sign me up” is pushed, a registration is submitted. Please be patient. Thank you. *We are working on resolving this technical issue and appreciate your patience in the process. PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR MORE THAN ONE SESSION. All registrants will receive an e-mail with class details approximately 7 days PRIOR to the program date. THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 AT 6:00P.M. (Eastern Time)

To register visit: www.driversedge.org/events/currentevents.aspx

For more info visit: http://www.driversedge.org/