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Ford Motor Company Wins National Community Service Award For Its Driving Skills For Life Program


Ford Motor Company has earned the 2007 Traffic Safety Achievement Award for Community Service from the World Traffic Safety Symposium for its Driving Skills for Life program, which teaches teens valuable driving skills. The award will be presented during a ceremony April 13 at the New York Auto Show.

Driving Skills for Life is a national program that features hands-on driving events at sites throughout the country, as well as an interactive Web site to reinforce safe driving techniques for teens. Established in 2003, Driving Skills for Life provides effective learning tools designed to give teenagers critical skills they need to become better drivers. In addition, educator materials are available at no charge in both English and Spanish, allowing instruction of the program in school or community settings. Driving Skills for Life has held hands on driving events that have reached nearly 6,000 students.

“We are proud to win this award,” said Jim Vondale, director of Automotive Safety, “Young drivers need to develop skills beyond what they learn in traditional driver education programs. Driving Skills for Life can help them do that"

A recent event in Sacramento was the first of five “ride-and-drives” scheduled for this year by the Ford Fund and its Driving Skills for Life partner, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). More than 300 students from seven high schools honed their skills on challenging driving courses under the supervision of a team of professional instructors.

“Studies tell us that crash rates for teenagers decline considerably as young drivers gain experience behind the wheel,” said Christopher J. Murphy, national chairman of GHSA and director of the California Office of Traffic Safety: “GHSA remains delighted to partner with Ford Fund on this national program which can make a real impact on the teens.”

Nearly 7,000 teens die annually in automobile crashes in the United States, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One in five 16-year-old drivers experiences a collision in their first year of driving. Driving Skills for Life helps young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60 percent of teen vehicle crashes: h azard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services are committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy.

National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford’s legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Indian Nation. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202.789-0942 or visit


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