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Driving Skills for Life News Release

October 15, 2007

Contact: Trent Sunahara at

Teens Learn to Save Lives with Interactive Driving Experience during First Annual National Teen Driver Safety Week

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—More than 300 local teens between the ages of 15 and 19 will be taught crucial life-saving driving skills on October 16 and 17 in Inglewood, during the first annual National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Driving Skills for Life, formed by Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association, is a national program designed to teach young and inexperienced drivers the realities of being on the road during harsh and life-threatening conditions, and how to drive appropriately to survive those situations.

The event, being held at the parking lot of Hollywood Park (1050 South Prairie Avenue) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, will offer four, four-hour sessions over the two days that will teach the teen drivers hazard recognition, vehicle handling and speed and space management.

On September 5, 2007, The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill establishing every third week in October as National Teen Driver Safety Week. National Teen Driver Safety Week will concentrate national attention on the development and communication of effective methods including programs such as Driving Skills For Life to help reduce crashes involving teen drivers.

“The driving skills and attitudes learned by new young drivers will shape their entire future behind the wheel,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Chairman of Governors Highway Safety Association and Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.  “Driving Skills for Life is a tremendous leg up for these young people and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

Parents will also have an opportunity to participate and learn at the free event. While their teens are driving, parents will be able to speak with driving coaches about teaching their teens to be better and safer drivers with passengers, on neighborhood streets, and learn to address the problem of drinking and driving.

“As the father of two teens, making sure they are not engaging in unsafe driving that may hurt themselves or others is one of the most critical duties I have,” Murphy said. “It’s one of the most important lessons both parents and teens have to learn.”

Vehicle crashes are the No.1 killer of teenagers in America and claim nearly 7,000 teen lives each year. 441 California teens died from such collisions in 2006, according to the most recent data from the California Highway Patrol.

“National Teen Driver Safety Week is an ideal time for programs such as Driving Skills for Life to go out into communities and teach teen-drivers the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “This will be the third time we have offered this program in California and we are excited to be out here once again helping to train the next generation of motorists and keeping our roads safe.”

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Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with& academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit