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Driving Skills for Life News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2009

Contacts: Josh Cooper
NG Strategies
(870)665-9130
cooper@ngstrategies.com
Rebecca Bunting
Ford Motor Company Fund
(313)845-8740
rbuntin7@ford.com
Linda Crosslin
Tennessee Governors Highway Safety
(615)253-9953
jlinda.crosslin@tn.gov

Ford Driving Skills for Life brings Free National Teen Driver Training Camp To Nashville Area Teens

Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, Westfield Insurance, and Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office

MT. JULIET, Tenn.—In an effort to reduce teen crashes and fatalities in Tennessee, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, Westfield Insurance, and the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office are hosting Nashville area teens at the Ford Driving Skills for Life driving camp. This free driving experience is being held at the Manheim Auto Auction in Mt Juliet, September 11-12.

Students will receive hands-on advanced driver's training by some of the nation's top professional driving instructors. Participants will learn techniques in the four key skill areas: speed management, space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition. Experts have identified the lack of these skills to be the cause of approximately 60 percent of vehicle crashes for newly licensed drivers ages 16-19.

Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in America. Tennessee currently has the sixth highest rate of teenage fatalities in the country, and lost 125 individuals aged 16-20 in 2008 alone.

"We are looking forward to bringing the Ford Driving Skills for Life program back to Tennessee," said Jim Graham, community relations manager of Ford Motor Company Fund.“ The Ford Driving Skills for Life program is designed to help teens learn important lessons in road safety that are often not discovered until it is too late. The Ford Motor Company Fund is committed to combating the alarming rate of teen crashes and fatalities across our country, and especially in Tennessee.”

Through the training camp, teens will gain valuable driving experience and improve their driving safety skills; parents are welcome to participate as well.

"Ford Motor Company's Fund and their commitment to safe driving in Tennessee is solid, and they are again demonstrating that by partnering with us to bring the Ford Driving Skills for Life program to our state. This program is the backbone of what every teen driver should know before taking the wheel" said Kendell Poole, Director Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office.

Jim Clay, President of Westfield Insurance added, “We’re proud to be part of this program. There is a growing need in the quest to enhance teen safety for collaboration between parents, law enforcement, advocacy organizations and corporate partners.”

Ford Driving Skills for Life was created in 2003 in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association. It is one of the nation's most comprehensive teen driver safety programs. In addition to hands-on events such as the event being held in Mt. Juliet, it consists of learning tools such as an interactive Web site (www.drivingskillsforlife.com) that includes a learning module, quizzes, car care videos, driving tip videos, interactive games and an enhanced eco-driving curriculum. Free educator packets are available for students and parents, as well as teachers and community programs. Additionally, individual programs can be created to meet the specific needs of communities and schools.

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About Ford Motor Company 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. Established in 1949, and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, the 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 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 the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit www.community.ford.com.

About the Governors Highways Safety Association:

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 www.ghsa.org.

About Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office:

The mission of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office is to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roads through leadership, innovation, coordination, and program support in partnership with other public and private organizations.  Funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is distributed to law enforcement agencies and other highway safety partnerships to accomplish this purpose.  In the current grant year, $28,476,586 was dispensed through 362 grants.  Educating the public also plays an important role as evident with a media budget of $5,382,333.

About Westfield Insurance:

In business for more than 160 years, Westfield Insurance, a member of Westfield Group, provides commercial and personal insurance and surety services to customers in 28 states. Westfield is one of the nation’s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups and markets its products through more than 1,200 leading independent insurance agencies. Westfield Group provides banking through Westfield BankSM and agency support through Westfield Services, Inc. Learn more about Westfield Insurance at www.westfieldinsurance.com.