Gayle Anderson was live in Glendale to experience the impaired driving suit.
Did you know?
- Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually.
- In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. That translates to one every 51 minutes.
- Nearly one million high school teens drank alcohol and got behind the wheel in 2011.
- Drinking and driving is the leading cause of death for Americans 17-24 years old. Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens.
- Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. (Information courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and DMV)
Since 2003, Ford Motor Company and the Governors Highway Safety Association have partnered to offer the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, which provides FREE advanced skills driver training to new drivers with an emphasis on safe driving and the importance of making smart decisions while behind the steering wheel. Now, as the program enters its second decade, the curriculum adds an impaired driver suit and warnings about taking selfies while driving.
The basic premise behind Ford Driving Skills for Life is to provide a step in the learning process, providing new skills and information not currently shared with newly licensed drivers in the basic driver education courses. Training is conducted in both hands-on and web-based curriculum and the entire program is available at NO COST. Training conducted under the Ford Driving Skills for Life program addresses both the inexperience factor as well as issues surrounding distracted driving. Results over the past ten years of this effort have been outstanding. For best results, parents and teens are encouraged to engage in the instruction together.
In the United States, the Ford Driving Skills for Life program works with teen drivers. The 2014 schedule includes stops in the following cities: Charleston (WV), Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Springfield (IL), and Tucson. More cities may be added. If you can't make it to one of the hands-on driving programs, the Ford Driving Skills for Life website is redesigned this year, and offers new educational materials.
The program's new IMPAIRED DRIVING SUIT replicates the physical challenges experienced by a person under the influence of alcohol. Weights and pads cause encumbrance and a lack of balance, allowing the new suit to enhance the effect of the goggles that students already wear to demonstrate the detrimental effects of impaired driving. Additionally, the curriculum adds discussion about and warnings against taking driving selfies, otherwise known as self-portraits taken with a smart phone camera and then uploaded to social media platforms.
To date, the Ford Driving Skills for Life program has trained 30,000 teen drivers in 900 school districts in 39 states. The program is offered internationally, and this year is expanding to Belgium, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Romania. In emerging markets, the program serves adults who are becoming drivers for the first time. In Europe, it serves college students, as licensing occurs at a later age in that region of the world.
Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs. For more information, click HERE.