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Young drivers dangerously in the dark: Hands-on driver training aims to help P-platers drive safely at night

With P-plate drivers seven times more likely to be killed or injured when driving in the dark compared to fully-licensed driversi , the free Ford Driving Skills for Life program hits the road from June-September 2023, visiting regional and metro locations across NSW, QLD, and VIC.

MELBOURNE, Australia, 17 May, 2023 – “Having your child driving alone on the road at night is a terrifying prospect”, said Ingrid Bass. “And as a parent to two young drivers, you want to give them independence but you also want the reassurance that they have the skills needed to drive safely, especially in the dark.”

With recent data from the Victorian Government and Transport Accident Commissionii showing young drivers are seven times more likely than fully-licensed drivers to be killed or injured when driving in the dark, nighttime is perhaps one of the most dangerous times for Australia’s teenagers and young adults to be on the road. In line with National Road Safety Week (14-21 May, 2023), Ford Australia has announced that night driving will be a focus for the 2023 Driving Skills for Life program which launches today.

James Stewart, Director at Driving Solutions said: “What I see is kids who often have had very minimal night driving experience, and when you have difficult conditions – in the dark, when it’s raining, perhaps with friends in the car – and you combine that with less experience... it can make for a very dangerous situation. That’s what we want to tackle with Driving Skills For Life this year.”

Ford Driving Skills For Life – Hands-on nighttime driver training launches for 2023

The Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program, delivered by Driving Solutions, is tailored to new and young drivers, and will be touring metro and regional areas in NSW, QLD, and VIC.

DSFL involves practical training with expert instructors to help participants become more skilled and safer drivers. The program covers techniques that are not typically covered in L-Plate driver instruction, and is particularly focused this year on the risks of driving at night on Australian roads such as emergency braking, steering and vision, cornering, parking and a ‘fatigue suit’ designed to demonstrate the dangers of driving when sleep deprived.

According to research conducted by the Victorian Government and Transport Accident Commissioniii, P-plate drivers are seven times more likely to be killed or injured while driving at night compared to fully licensed drivers.

According to the NSW government, fatigue accounts for around 20 per cent of road deaths in NSW and the risk of having a fatigue-related crash is four times greater

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late at night or early in the morning. Students who tend to stay up late are among those most likely to feel fatigued and therefore at greater risk of being involved in an accident after darkiv.

“There’s nothing more important on the road than safety and that’s why we found the statistics around how many more young people suffer injuries and fatalities at night so concerning,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand. “We’re hoping that by teaching young drivers practical night driving skills, we might help keep them just that bit safer on the road.”

About Driving Skills for Life

A signature program of the Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches newly licensed and teen drivers the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs. Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free, advanced driver education to more than one million people worldwide since its founding in 2003.

Ford Driving Skills for Life captures teen and parent interest with hands-on driver training clinics that pair newly licensed drivers with professional instructors, focusing on the issues and obstacles drivers face that cause crashes, including hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, space management and distracted and impaired driving.

Driving Skills for Life is a free course, delivered by professional driving instructors around Australia. The program is open to drivers aged between 16-24 years old, who hold a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license. Registrations are now open at

Driving Skills for Life 2023 Event Dates:

• Melbourne International Raceway, VIC - Fri 21 July

• Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek, NSW - Fri 18 Aug

• Lithgow, NSW – Sat 19 Aug

• QLD locations - TBC

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company's Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 173,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at

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