- Ford invests €2.6 million to train 5,000 more young drivers in Europe in 2015, increases Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) investment in the region to €6.7 million since launching in 2013
- Ford DSFL program will be extended to 11 countries this year, with training taking place for the first time in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey
- In Europe, car crashes are the leading cause of death in 18 to 24-year-olds. Ford has so far trained more than 6,100 young drivers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain, and U.K.
- Ford DSFL offers free, hands-on training that covers hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed/space management, and distractions
- Training also highlights phone and social media distraction and drinking and driving; special “Drink Driving Suit” shows students how alcohol impairs abilities
- Ford DSFL has provided training to more than half a million people globally through hands-on and online tuition since first being launched 11 years ago in the U.S.
COLOGNE, Germany, March, 12, 2015 – Ford Motor Company today announced it will invest another €2.6 million in 2015 to provide free driver training to 5,000 more 18-24 year olds from across Europe.
Ford of Europe has now committed a total of €6.7 million in training through its acclaimed Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program since 2013. This year, Ford will offer free training for the first time in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey as well as continue successful training programs in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Ford has received a highly positive response from the more than 6,100 18 to 24-year-olds across Europe who already have received hands-on Ford DSFL driver training. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for Europeans in that age group*. Ford’s free, hands-on training covers skills including hazard recognition, vehicle handling, and speed and space management. The program also highlights the risks of distractions such as texting and taking selfies at the wheel, as well as the dangers of drinking and driving.
“Too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making,” said Jim Graham, manager, Ford DSFL. “With this new €2.6m investment in young driver training for 2015, we can provide a further 5,000 young people with the skills and knowledge that could save their lives.”
Ford was the first car manufacturer to introduce free comprehensive advanced hands-on driver training for newly licensed drivers. In the 11 years since it was launched in the U.S., Ford DSFL has provided training to more than half a million people globally.
For DSFL, Ford has teamed with leading safety organisations including Association Prévention Routière in France, Deutscher Verkehrssicherheitsrat in Germany, the ACI in Italy, Road Safety Russia in Russia, Dirección General de Tràfico in Spain, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and AA Driving School in the U.K.
Training is designed to address some of the leading factors in young driver crashes. This includes showing students how they might recover from a slide, emergency braking techniques, and how to scan the road ahead for trouble. Attempting slow speed manoeuvres in a closed environment while using a mobile phone shows how distraction affects driving performance.
Last year, Ford introduced training to specifically highlight the dangers of taking selfies and other social media activity at the wheel, and employed a special “Drink Driving Suit” to show the degree to which consuming alcohol before driving impairs abilities.
Consisting of tunnel-vision glasses; ear muffs, wrist and ankle weights; and padding to elbows, neck, and knees; the “Drink Driving Suit” makes even simple tasks – such as walking a straight line – much harder; and demonstrates how much more difficult a more complex activity like driving becomes under the influence of alcohol.
In 2014, Ford also published the results of two surveys that showed more than one in four young people have taken a selfie while driving, ** and that most young drivers in Europe report either have driven while drunk, or have seen friends drink and drive. ***
Nearly all who attended 133 Ford DSFL training sessions in 27 venues across eight countries said afterwards that they felt more confident as a result of the training and would recommend the program to a friend.
“Newly qualified drivers still have so much to learn about safety on the road so we strongly urge young drivers to take advantage of Ford DSFL training,” Graham said. “It’s fun, free, informative, and because we constantly re-evaluate what we teach, it’s always relevant.”
Further details about the Ford DSFL program, including training dates and venues, plus how to enrol in the Ford DSFL Online training academy will be available online.
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* European Commission Road Accident Database
** Ford research was carried out between 03/06/2014 and 27/06/2014. Sample: 7,003 smartphone-owning 18-24 year-old drivers from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and the U.K.
*** Ford research was carried out between 12/11/2013 and 20/11/2013. Sample: 5,000 drivers aged 18 to 24 from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.