Ford Driving Skills for Life Kicks Off 2020 with an Expanded Hands-on Safe Driving Tour for Newly Licensed Drivers

  • Eighteen-city tour will offer more than 80 free, hands-on safe driving clinics to thousands of teens and their parents across the United States—from Fairbanks, Alaska to Orlando, Florida; Los Angeles, California to Portland, Maine

  • Hands-on driving courses focus on critical factors influencing teen crashes: vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed, space management, distraction and impairment

  • Training will be conducted on vehicle safety technologies as well as emerging new mobility options—including the relationship between cars and cyclists, safe use of electric scooters and proper ride sharing protocol

  • Around the world, Ford Driving Skills for Life programming and events are planned in more than 30 countries this year

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 24, 2020 — In a fast-paced world increasingly filled with technology, Ford Driving Skills for Life continues to provide free hands-on and online training to thousands of newly licensed drivers across the globe.

Now in its 17th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life is expanding its 2020 U.S. tour to offer more than 80 safe-driving training sessions in 18 cities across the country. The tour kicks off Jan. 25-26 at Manheim Auto Auction in Orlando, Florida.

Ford Driving Skills for Life captures teen and parent interest with safe driving clinics that pair newly licensed drivers with professional driving instructors and address critical factors influencing teen crashes: vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed, space management, distraction and impairment. The clinics focus on skills and information not currently offered in standard driver education courses.

"Despite progress in recent years, teens continue to be overrepresented in motor vehicle crashes and fatalities across the country and vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for newly licensed drivers," said Jim Graham, global manger, Ford Driving Skills for Life. "We look forward to continuing and expanding our efforts to help reduce the number of crashes and fatalities through real-world training and improved decision-making skills. Working with all of our partner organizations we believe we are making a substantial contribution to safer driving."

Rear of car view as it moves toward speed and distance signs and stop sign

As new technology and mobility options continue to emerge, Ford Driving Skills for Life training also highlights the role vehicle technology can play in saving lives, in addition to addressing issues surrounding the relationship between cyclists and drivers, safe use of electric scooters and safety protocol for using ride-sharing services.

The program will further adapt its curriculum this year to address disparities between beliefs and actions among Generation Z drivers. A 2019 global survey commissioned by Ford Driving Skills for Life found 65% of U.S and 79% of Canadian Gen Z drivers agree that using a mobile device while driving is a serious offense and should result in severe punishment. Yet 62% of U.S. and 58% of Canadian Gen Z drivers still do it. Ford Driving Skills for Life will work to raise awareness of these and other alarming disparities to help minimize risky Gen Z driving behaviors.

Working in the U.S. with its national partner, the Governors Highway Safety Association, the Ford Driving Skills for Life tour will reach Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia this year. In addition to the hands-on driving clinics, a free online "Academy" is available for teens and parents at www.drivingskillsforlife.com/academy.

female student wears goggles while two police officers flank her stepping forward as students watch

"Teen and new driver inexperience often result in dangerous behaviors such as speeding, alcohol use and not wearing a seat belt – all of which contribute to increased risk for new drivers," said Jonathan Adkins, executive director, Governors Highway Safety Association. "For this reason, the association and State Highway Safety Offices are looking forward to bringing this powerful program to even more teens and their parents—coast to coast and around the globe."

Around the world, Ford Driving Skills for Life trainings are planned in more than 30 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East this year. Since 2008, the international Ford Driving Skills for Life program has grown and provided valuable insights into addressing road safety issues worldwide.

A signature program of Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford Driving Skills for Life has invested more than $60 million to provide free, advanced driver education to more than 1 million new licensed drivers in all 50 U.S. states and 46 countries worldwide since 2003.

For more information and updates on tour locations, visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com.

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About Ford Motor Company Fund

As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund's mission is to strengthen communities and help make people's lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About 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. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.