Ford announced it would expand its investment in its Driving Skills for Life project in Europe, a programme aimed to train young drivers how to properly handle a car.
A young driver has all sorts of activities behind the wheel, other than keeping their eyes on the road ahead, such as drinking, eating, talking on the phone and using social media. Statistics show that 18 to 24 year olds in Europe incur almost twice the risk of being killed in road accidents compared to other drivers. Therefore, Ford started in 2013 the Driving Skills for Life project in the region to provide free hands-on training on hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed/space management and distractions. The company already trained 13,500 drivers in 11 countries in Europe and now it has announced an increase in its investment for these courses by another 2.9 million euros to expand the programme to 13 countries this year, including Finland and Poland, and to train 7,000 more newly licensed drivers.
“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 €2.9 million investment in young driver training for 2016, we can provide a further 7,000 young people with the skills and knowledge that could save their lives.” Ford has committed until now to a total of 9.6 million dollars to provide training in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.
The automaker has teamed up with many safety organisations across Europe for the project and, in addition, Ford is enlisting YouTube stars to help raise awareness on the issue of young drivers road safety throughout 2016 with a series of videos and events. “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.”