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Ford Clinics Train Teen Drivers to Improve Safety

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author photo by Nick Palermo June 2012
  • Free clinics provide professional driving instruction and a safe, controlled course
  • Teen drivers sharpen skills in four key areas
  • Summer tour includes three Ohio cities

Ford chose an appropriate time of year to train 1,200 teen drivers in Ohio. Attendees to Ford's Driving Skills for Life half-day clinics will learn from professional driving instructors and improve safe driving proficiency on a special course. The free clinics are scheduled right in the middle of a risky driving season for teens.

Statistics that reflect the dangers to teen drivers are sobering. Motor vehicle accidents kill more American teenagers than any other single cause, and teen drivers are far more likely to crash than more experienced drivers. The summer months of June, July and August are the deadliest for those 15 to 19 years old.

"This is a time of year when many teens are driving more miles, perhaps to work or summer activities," said Jim Graham, Ford's Driving Skills for Life manager. "Also, teens frequently drive with other teens in the vehicle, adding to the risk for these less experienced drivers."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency that directs highway safety and works to prevent crashes, says the causes of teen crashes are largely known. Inexperience and immaturity combined with speed, not wearing seatbelts, distraction and drug and alcohol use are all factors.

Recognizing that driver education is an important part of the solution, the Driving Skills for Life clinics offer 15-to-19-year-olds with a license or permit a chance to sharpen their techniques in four key areas: driver distraction, speed/space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition. A specially equipped course allows attendees to experience hazards they may face on real roads, but in a safe and controlled environment.

Ford invites teen drivers to visit www.drivingskillsforlife.com to register. The first 1,200 eligible entrants will be enrolled. The first clinic will be held July 9 and 10 at the Cincinnati Manheim Auto Auction in Hamilton. On July 12 and 13, the Columbus Manheim Auto Auction in Grove City will host the second. The final stop on the tour will be at Northfield Park in Cleveland on July 15 and 16.

In addition to these clinics, Driving Skills for Life also offers free driving safety materials for parents and teachers and an online curriculum, so teen drivers and their parents outside the Buckeye State can brush up on safe driving practices this summer, too. The program has already trained a half-million new drivers.

What it means to you: Teen drivers in Ohio can take advantage of a free half-day clinic, while those outside the state can learn safe driving skills online.

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Ford Clinics Train Teen Drivers to Improve Safety - Autotrader