The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) program teaches teens the skills they need to be safe on the road. The program features newly relaunched hands-on driving events, a website, and other materials focusing on the key skill areas of driver distraction, speed and space management, vehicle handling, and hazard recognition.
In partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, GHSA released a new report that examines the significant role speeding plays in teen driver fatalities and offers practical tools to help parents rein in this lethal driving habit. The report, Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle, is the first look in recent years at the role speeding plays in teen driver deaths and includes state-by-state statistics.
To support recommendations in the Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle report, the Ford Driving Skills for Life program and GHSA provided grants totaling $135,000 to six State Highway Safety Offices to create and implement innovative programs to help combat teen speeding.
Ford Fund and GHSA also resumed the award-winning teen driver safety program – Ford DSFL – following a 15-month pause in hands-on training due to COVID-19. An eight-city tour of free, safe-driving clinics began in August 2021 in Anaheim, California. The program was relaunched with enhanced safety protocols in place to protect staff and attendees without sacrificing the quality of hands-on, instructional content. Read about the safety precautions here. To overcome challenges some families may face in securing transportation to the hands-on training events, Ford Fund partnered with Lyft to provide ride-hail vouchers for families in underserved communities.
Although the 2020 National Tour was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford DSFL adapted to provide additional digital resources for novice drivers and their parents. In fact, they brought their training directly into homes with "The Daily Drive Podcast," available on Facebook and YouTube. Episodes feature conversations with traffic safety experts, parents, teens, professional driving instructors and others subject matter experts discussing safety tips, campaign ideas, personal stories and more. GHSA's own Pam Shadel Fischer and Tim Burrows have been frequent guests on the program.
For more information and to view past episodes, click here.
Due to concerns about COVID-19, the Ford Driving Skills for Life Teen Safe Driving Grants were delayed until August 2021.
Since 2008, Ford DSFL has been offering grants to State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to support and develop teen safe driving programs in their respective states. To date, more than 50 grants totaling over $1 million have been awarded to 30 states to support everything from educational activities at state fairs to student video contests and hands-on instructional events.
Check out some completed Ford DSFL state grant projects:
In April of 2019, through a grant from Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) and GHSA, the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) educated 16 teen drivers about the importance of safe driving.
Through a grant from Ford Driving Skills for Life and GHSA, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission partnered with the Cascade Pacific Action Alliance's (CPAA's) Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program (YMPEP) for a campaign warning teens about the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving.
In 2018, Montana’s State Highway Traffic Safety Office (SHTSS) was awarded grants by both Ford Driving Skills for Life and The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc.'s partnerships with GHSA.