Free Teen Driving Program Comes to Denver

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Posted 7/11/14

Driving Skills for Life, a FREE 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 identi

In 2013, 37 Colorado teens were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Some of the most common causes of these crashes were excessive speed, drifting, alcohol, and failure to yield right of way or stop.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. The Ford Driving Skills for Life program, a free teen safe-driving initiative designed to teach teens skills they don’t learn in driver’s education is continuing its 2014 national tour in Colorado next month, training high school-aged drivers at no cost.

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.

Ford Driving Skills for Life will offer four-hour sessions over two days of free hands-on advanced driver training at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on July 22 and 23. 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.

“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."

“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.”

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.”

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.

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About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on projects each year that better their communities in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.

 About the Governors Highway Safety Association

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org.