Ford to Offer Free Teen Driver Education

Chris Teague | Jul 28, 2021

Last year made headlines for a variety of unsettling reasons. Among them was the alarming number of traffic deaths in the United States, which reached record highs in 2020. In an effort to help young drivers understand the risks and improve their overall skill levels, Ford Fund and Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) are once again teaming up to provide free training clinics to teen drivers and their parents.

Ford Driving Skils for Life Program Silver Mustang

The two organizations are resuming their education programs after a 15-month hiatus during the pandemic. Citing figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford notes that fewer vehicles on the road during the pandemic’s heights in 2020 did not diminish the number of traffic fatalities. In fact, the opposite is true, as deaths are estimated to have hit a 13-year high last year. 

The numbers are staggering. The NHTSA estimates that 38,680 people were killed in crashes in 2020, which is the highest number since 2007 and represents a jump of 7.2 percent over the previous year. Speed is commonly cited as a cause.

The Ford Fund and GHSA will run the Ford Driving Skills for Life program on an eight-city tour. The free clinics are open to newly licensed drivers or teens with a learner’s permit, and a parent or guardian is encouraged to join them. Ford says the program is intended to take skill-building a step further than a traditional driver’s ed program by bolstering skills in the areas of vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed and space management, distracted driving, and impaired driving. 

Starting August 7-8, 2021, the clinics will be offered in Anaheim, CA, and later in the year in:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Nashville
  • Phoenix
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego

Ford Fund and GHSA are also targeting teen speeding and driver awareness by awarding a total of $135,000 to State Highway Offices in Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New York, Tennessee, and Utah. The grants range from $18,000 to $25,000.

The Ford Driving Skills for Life program is now in its 18th year and has seen over 1.25 million new drivers complete its courses in all 50 states and 46 countries worldwide. The automaker notes that the Ford Fund has invested more than $60 million in the program since its inception in 2003.

Ford is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on July 28, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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