Students from Mountain Pointe High School recently got some free training behind the wheel.
They were among 1,000 who attended the Ford Driving Skills for Life advanced teen driver training earlier this month.
Ford’s philanthropic arm visits Phoenix every fall and provides free training to 1,000-plus teens and parents through its Skills for Life program.
Ford Driving Skills for Life emphasizes the primary cause of vehicle crashes – inexperience.
“Students gain experience and learn by a variety of hands-on driving methods with professional instructors, who teach key skill sets that boost young drivers’ confidence and knowledge,” the company said in a release.
The clinics provide professional advanced driving instruction beyond what is learned in driver education, including through the use of Ford’s drugged and drunk driving suits.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers in America, and the program helps new drivers stay safe behind the wheel.
Beyond driver education training, the program focuses on the issues and obstacles drivers face that cause crashes, including vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed and space management, and distracted and impaired driving.
A key part of the instruction focuses on training newly licensed drivers to make better driving decisions and features Ford’s suits to warn about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
“We are excited to bring our global award-winning program back to Phoenix,” said James Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. “We look forward to expanding our efforts to help reduce the number of crashes and fatalities through real-world training and teaching improved decision-making skills. We believe we are making a substantial contribution to safer driving for local students and parents in the Phoenix metro area.”
According to preliminary data from the Arizona Department of Transportation, nearly 100 young drivers ages 15-24 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Arizona in 2016.
“Mission Not Accomplished: Teen Safe Driving, the Next Chapter,” a Governors Highway Safety Association report released last year, shows that despite progress reducing teen driving deaths from 2005 to 2014, teen drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults 35-40.
Special emphasis for 2017 includes instruction for drivers ages 18-20, who are involved in more fatal crashes than younger teens.