San Antonio.- In the past few months in San Antonio, devastating news stories of tragic and even fatal car accidents involving teen drivers seemed to occur with regularity. Analysis of NHTSA’s traffic data shows that in 2011, there were about 2,300 teen traffic fatalities nationwide – accidents that claimed the lives of kids between 15 and 19 years.
So reviewing safe driving techniques with young drivers is certainly an important activity which will be much easier to accomplish this weekend thanks to the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) National Tour.
The tour will visit high schools and community groups in San Antonio to offer educational programs and advanced, behind-the-wheel training for teen drivers through March 24.
In partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit association for highway safety, the DSFL program will reach more than 200 high schools across the U.S. this year. The program includes hands-on community driving events, a national school tour, web-based learning and free resources for parents and educators
The Texas portion of the national tour, a teen-safe driving initiative, will engage teens and parents and provide hands-on training in San Antonio and Dallas at no cost.
The program – aimed at combating the driver inexperience that leads to the number one killer of teens, vehicle crashes – also includes web-based training and educational materials. By bridging the experience gap for new drivers, the Ford DSFL hopes to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injuries for teens.
This year, working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the tour will offer several safety assemblies at San Antonio area high schools including Henry Ford Academy, O’Connor High School, Marshall High School, Lee High School, Roosevelt High School and Uvalde High School, as well as three days of hands-on driving clinics at the Manheim Auto Auction on March 22, 23 and 24.
Some of the top driving instructors in the country will be here this weekend to offer advanced driver training aimed at combating driver inexperience that leads to the number one killer of teens, vehicle crashes – and there is still space available in the classes.
Participants can register for this free, hands-on training event by visiting www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
“Ford Motor Company Fund is very pleased to be returning to San Antonio with our award winning safe driving assemblies and hands-on training programs,” Jim Graham, manager of Ford’s Driving Skills for Life Program, said. “The issue of inexperience with newly licensed drivers is serious and we are proud to provide a step in the learning process to help teens gain more experience on the road.”
A transporter with specially equipped vehicles and professional instructors will offer hands-on driving exercises to help build young drivers’ skills in four key areas: driver distraction, speed/space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition.
“Driving Skills for Life is coming to Texas at the perfect time,” Terry Pence, Director of Traffic Safety at TxDOT. “More and more teens are getting their licenses and hitting the roads. This program will help participating teens prepare by putting them behind the wheel, helping to unlearn bad habits and relearn how to properly manage a vehicle. Our hope is that the participants share what they learn with their friends and parents and that the safe driving messages will spread to our irreplaceable Texas teenagers.”
According to the GHSA, the Ford DSFL is the most comprehensive teen safe driving program in the U.S. and already trained more than 550,000 new drivers around the globe through online and hands-on professional driver instruction.