Teen Safe Driving Program Puts High School Student Leaders Behind the Wheel; Ford, GHSA Launch 2005 Teen Driving Education Program
WASHINGTON, May 19 -- For teen drivers, summer can be a deadly time. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that more teens die in car crashes during the summer months (June-Sept.) than any other time of the year. And with fatal driving deaths on the rise nationwide, the summer forecast prompts concern.
With this in mind-and recognizing that the metropolitan D.C. area has had 24 teen-driving fatalities since September alone- today Ford Motor Company and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) launched the nation’s most comprehensive teen- driving education campaign here, Driving Skills for Life ( http://www.drivingskillsforlife.com ).
“Ford is committed to teen driving safety and has partnered with GHSA to take this expanded program nationwide,” said Susan M. Cischke, Ford vice president, Environmental and Safety Engineering. “The program not only provides hands-on emergency response training, it includes an interactive instructional Web site, educational movie trailers and safety events at shopping malls across the U.S. And, as always, we at Ford will continue developing features that make our vehicles safer for drivers of all ages.”
“We’re excited to launch the 2005 phase of this program and hope it will help states raise awareness of the teen driving issue as they work to strengthen graduated driver’s licensing laws,” said Kathryn Swanson, Immediate Past Chair of GHSA. “We are also optimistic that Driving Skills for Life will help further stimulate the national conversation about getting teens higher quality behind-the-wheel time on needed driving skills.”
Accompanied by performance-driving instructors, more than 70 student government leaders from the largest high schools in the area drove through courses set up in parking lots at FedEx Field in suburban Landover, Maryland. They received specific training in hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space and speed management - key areas which are responsible for 60 percent of teenage crashes. Participants were given information on how to pass along the driving concepts to other students after the invitation-only event. In addition, all of the more than 1,000 D.C.-area high schools received free Driving Skills for Life materials, including an instructional video.
For interviews or additional information, contact Sanda Pecina, on site, at 703-967-2676 or Ed Lewis at 202-962-5365.
Downloadable photos will available at 12 noon May 19 at http://www.wirepix.com/newsphotos
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