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Driving Skills for Life News Release

October 19-25, 2008

Contacts: Stacey Anderson
Direct Impact
(303)718-6212 (c)
(970)668-0488 (o)
Jonathan Adkins
Driving Skills for Life
Rebecca Bunting
Driving Skills for Life
Ford Motor Company Fund

Ford and GHSA Announce Efforts to Save Teen Lives as Part of National Teen Safe Driving Week

DEARBORN, Mich.—In an effort designed to reduce teen crashes and fatalities in America, Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund), the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is joining forces with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in training teens to drive safely during the second annual National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Ford's nationally recognized Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) program will be used to train up to 1,000 teens in Phoenix, Arizona. Teens in other areas will be trained as well (see list below). Ford DSFL was created in 2003 in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association.

National Teen Driver Safety Week October 19th-25th, 2008 was created to increase awareness around the issue of teen driver safety, because vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, claiming nearly 7,000 teen lives a year. Experts have identified the lack of these skills to be the cause of approximately 60% of vehicle crashes for newly licensed drivers ages 16 - 19.

"The safety of teens in cars and trucks is a top priority of Ford, and we're pleased to work with GHSA in training young people to drive safely," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "This year along we will have trained more than 177,000 teens in programs held in communities across the U.S."

"GHSA is proud of its continuing relationship with the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Ford DSFL program. Together we have made great progress in saving teen lives and providing resources to teens and parents that address issues that may not be covered in driver education," said Vernon Betkey, Chairman of GHSA.

The year's 20 year old NASCAR rookie sensation Colin Braun will speak with students in Phoenix about the importance of driver safety. The teens will receive hands-on advanced defensive driver training by some of the nation's top professional driving instructors. Participants will learn skills in the four key areas that Ford DSFL focuses on: speed management, space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition.

Ford DSFL consists of learning tools such as an interactive Web site which includes learning modules, quizzes, car care and driving tip videos, interactive games and an enhanced eco-driving curriculum. Free educator packets are available for students and parents to use at home, as well as teachers and administration in classrooms and communities. Additionally, in-school and community programs are created to meet the specific needs of communities and schools.


REDMOND, ORE: October 18th: Ford DSFL launching a program in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Transportation. Titled, The Oregon Driving Excellence Challenge, it is one of 10 state grants awarded to state safety organizations by Ford DSFL. The Oregon Driving Excellence Challenge will consist of hands-on safety exercises and a safe driving skills competition for students.

NATIONWIDE: October 19th: New premier driver training module will be launched on the Ford DSFL Web site (, using 3D modeling, video, multiple scenario angles, digital driving coach, a knowledge base and user interaction. The website was developed with the assistance of GHSA, NHTSA, and various other safety experts.

PHOENIX, AZ: October 20th - 26th: Ford DSFL will be conducting free hands-on driver's training for up to1,000 students in partnership with GHSA, Phoenix Area Ford Dealers, and the Arizona Governors Office of Highway Safety

INDIANAPOLIS, IND: October 24th: 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the Ford Motor Company's sponsorship of The National FFA Organization. At the 2008 National Convention, Ford DSFL will be announcing the winners of a safe driving scholarship program implemented into The National FFA Organization (FFA). The winners are comprised of the FFA students that created the most creative safe driving campaigns in their schools and communities utilizing Ford DSFL materials. Up to 10 winning chapters will receive $2500 grants.

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About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

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 Ford DSFL, 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

For more information regarding the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, please 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