DEARBORN (WWJ) – Ford Motor Company is kicking off a nationwide tour in Florida Tuesday to promote a big expansion of its national “Driving Skills for Life” program.

The program is designed to turn teens into better drivers. Jim Vella, vice-president of the Ford Foundation, says traffic crashes are the number one killer of teens. “The driving skills program teaches them safe driving techniques that they may not be getting already. Things like space management and avoidance of obstacles, driver distraction issues – so that they’re aware of those things when they go out on the road, which will not only make them safer, but it’ll make the drivers around them safer,” says Vella.

He says the program, which is in its eighth year, will provide each student who participates with instruction from experienced, licensed drivers with an expertise in safe driving techniques. Vella also says some of the things teens will learn in the program they likely don’t learn in driver’s ed. He says, most importantly, teens will have a chance to practice behind the wheel.

“That hands-on training is the part that we find to be the most valuable and that’s why we decided to go ahead and expand this program.”

The national “Driving Skills for Life” will make stops in 30 cities across the country to promote the million dollar expansion of the program.


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