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Driving Skills for Life News Release

February 9, 2009

Contacts: Wes Sherwood
Safety Communications
Ford Motor Company
Rebecca Bunting
Driving Skills for Life
Ford Motor Company Fund
Jonathan Adkins
Governors Highway Safety Association

Ford Motor Company and the Governors Highway Safety Association Take Teen Driving Program to New Level

DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford Motor Company and the Governors Highway Safety Association ramp up their national award winning teen driver safety program, Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL). Launched in 2003, Ford Driving Skills for Life has grown every year and is committed to reducing the number one cause of teen deaths – vehicle crashes.

2009 is set to be another amazing year for the Ford DSFL program. Among the many highlights scheduled for this year is the addition of several different languages to the Ford DSFL website. This makes the site more user friendly and goes hand-in-hand with Ford DSFL's international expansion efforts, which are designed to help improve the safety of drivers across the planet.

In addition to a multi-lingual Web site, the Ford DSFL learning module, which had a significant refresh in 2008 - earning the Adobe Site of the Day award, will be made portable. This will allow for states, schools, organizations and communities to easily grab it from the Ford DSFL website and place it on their own Web site.

Ford Driving Skills for Life exemplifies Ford's commitment to safety education,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “This award winning program saves lives as witnessed in Illinois in 2008 where teen fatalities dropped by about 52 percent after teen students participated in the program.”

Ford DSFL also plans to provide state highway safety offices with tools to conduct hands-on advanced teen driver safety events that replicate the same hands-on training that Ford DSFL conducts. This will increase the number of teens that will receive free advanced driver's training and help save even more lives across the country. Ford DSFL will also provide small grants to state highway safety offices to advance teen safety. Ford DSFL's 2009 projected training events are in Nashville, TN; Twin Cities, MN; Tucson, AZ; Chicago, IL; and Springfield, IL.

According to GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey Jr., “Resources to educate and train teen drivers are increasingly scarce, so this new commitment from Ford is most needed and welcome. Ford DSFL is the premier teen driving program in the nation and we are delighted that even more teens will benefit in 2009.”

Another top priority for Ford DSFL is the creation of a teen advisory board. The teen advisory board will be made up of teens from across the country. They will share ideas and insights that will help shape the Ford DSFL program for years to come.

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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 operates.  Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2009 and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, 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, Ford employees and retirees 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