- More than 470 young drivers trained at the three-day event at ExCeL London.
- Attendance up nearly 20 per cent compared with 2016.
- Training included speed awareness, vehicle handling, driver distraction and simulation of drug and alcohol effects.
- The free driver training took place ahead of Brake charity’s Road Safety Week.
Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) returned to the London ExCeL centre this year and trained over 470 young drivers. Held over the weekend leading up to Road Safety Week, the annual event saw the highest number of participants so far, with attendance up 18 per cent on 2016.
Over the three days, young drivers took part in hands-on, free practical training sessions to help develop their skills by simulating real-world situations. Training elements included speed awareness, distracted driving, vehicle handling and the simulated effects of drugs and alcohol
Worldwide research shows that car crashes are the leading cause of death among young people. In Europe, young people are almost twice as likely to be killed on roads compared with the average person.* In the UK, 17-24 year olds make up 20 per cent of those killed or seriously injured in traffic collisions**, despite this age group only holding seven per cent of all driving licences.***
A recent AA-Populus Driver Poll of more than 18,500, found that 87 per cent**** of drivers would encourage family and friends to take part in a free driving skills course based on the four main branches of Ford DSFL: Drink and drug driving, mobile phone use, speeding and driving in wet or icy conditions.
Linking with Ford and UK charity, Brake’s recent #MyNewPhoneBox campaign, aimed at repurposing the car’s glove box as a storage space for the mobile phone, young drivers were encouraged to use their mobile phones on the event’s dedicated driver distraction course to reinforce the dangers of mobile phone use at the wheel.
The training was positively received, with one participant saying: “It’s been excellent! Not only am I considerably better prepared for a variety of driving scenarios, but activities like ‘Drunk Football and the ‘Reaction Wall’ make the day great fun”.
Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain, said: “We’re in our fifth year of Driving Skills for Life in the UK and it is wonderful to see the attendance continue to rise. It is vital that new young drivers learn the skills that could one-day be crucial in avoiding fatal traffic collisions.”
* World Health Organisation Global Status Report On Road Safety 2015 and European Road Safety Observatory http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2015/Executive_summary_GSRRS2015.pdf?ua=1
** Department for Transport Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2015, Annual Report https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/568484/rrcgb-2015.pdf
*** DVLA Driving Licence Data 2015 https://data.gov.uk/dataset/driving-licence-data
**** Populus received 18,633 responses from AA members to its online poll between 17th and 24th October 2017. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
About Driving Safety Skills for Life
DSFL Programme: 17th-19th November. Excel Centre, London
The Ford Driving Skills for Life event teaches newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs. Ford DSFL helps young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of vehicle crashes including:
- Hazard Recognition
- Vehicle Handling
- Speed Management
- Space Management