(Dearborn, MI) -- According to data from the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 6,000 teens die each year from
injuries resulting from car crashes – making it the number one killer of
teens in America. Yet, a recent national survey by Wirthlin Worldwide
shows that many people underestimate the challenges novice drivers face.
When asked, 56 percent of Americans named drug abuse as the leading health
threat teenagers face, with only 13 percent identifying teen driving
crashes as the number one threat.
To help raise awareness and fight back against this serious youth
health issue, Ford Motor Company, along with the Governors Highway Safety
Association (GHSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), today announced the launch of Real World Driver: Driving
Skills for Life at a press conference in Dearborn, Michigan.
Real World Driver is a multi-year, educational campaign aimed at
teens, parents and the education community. The program includes a
teacher's guide, video and other materials that are being distributed to
every public high school in the country (more than 20,000 schools). An
interactive Web site --www.realworlddriver.com
-- also has been launched to give students and parents more information
about driving skills and provide visitors the opportunity to take a quiz
online for a chance to win exciting prizes.
Four Critical Driving Skills
To design the program, Ford and GHSA convened a distinguished panel of
safety experts that included NHTSA, the International Association of
Chiefs of Police Highway Safety Committee and The Transportation Safety
Association. According to the Real World Driver Advisory Board, the
four key driving skills young drivers should master are: hazard
recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.
Wirthlin’s research also indicated that just 11 percent of parents and
12 percent of all adults are satisfied with the training resources
available to first-time drivers. Moreover, nearly all parents (94 percent)
are concerned about their teens driving independently.
While hands-on, behind-the-wheel training and educational materials are
important elements of any safe driving program, Ford reminds all drivers
that safety belts continue to provide the single, most effective
protection in any vehicle crash.