Ford Driving Skills for Life – a must for teen drivers

When I attended the Forward with Ford event a few months ago one of my very favorite programs that they introduced me to was the Driving

Photo courtesy of the Ford DSFL team

Skills for Life (DSFL) program. It was created back in 2003 with the goal of teaching newly licensed teens necessary safe driving skills beyond those that they learn in typical driver education. Vehicle accidents are the number one killer of teens in the United States and with that number at 5000 annually, it’s more important than ever to education our kids on the importance of safety while on the road. Ford DSFL focuses on four key areas, which are hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management. More specific information on each of these can be found on the DSFL website. The best part? There are many FREE elements to this program including interactive activities on the DSFL website. In my conversation with them they shared that they would be visiting high schools across the country to introduce their program to teen drivers, beginning in the northeast. I joked that I was certain they wouldn’t be coming as far northeast as my state, but lo and behold when the representative asked where I was from and I sarcastically replied with Maine, she eagerly shared that actually they would be kicking things off in Southern Maine. I was so excited to hear this and filed it away in the back of my mind, hoping I’d be able to attend since I live more in the middle of the state and it would be a bit of a drive. I recently received an email from Jen, who works with Ford Motor Company, inviting me to one of the events. Luckily it was going to work out with my family’s schedule and I was all set to go, but then had car trouble (ironic?) and wasn’t able to get there. I was hugely disappointed since I was so looking forward to this and especially since I gave them such a hard time about the fact that nobody ever does such important stuff all the way up here in Maine. It just simply wasn’t meant to be for me to attend, but I at least needed to share the program with all of you. Nick is still a few years away from driver’s education (thankfully), but I feel this is such a valuable and necessary program for you and your child to be aware of, either before they ever get behind the wheel of a car, or in addition to their formal driver education program.

Jen was kind enough to share some photos and a short video from the event with me and I highly encourage you to visit the DSFL website and try out the academy for yourself and recommend  you insist your teen who is driving or near driving age do the very same thing. It is a wonderful and interactive way to truly get a feel for many of the common challenges that come with being a smart and responsible driver. I most definitely hope that you are lucky enough to have them visit your child’s school during their tour. This is the kind of thing that should lead to important conversations with our kids about what a privilege it is to drive a car, one that also comes with a great deal of responsibility.

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