Ford has announced that its successful Ford Driving Skills for Life programme will be introduced to the UK in September, which aims to train young people to drive more safely. The scheme is already in place in the US and Asia, and has provided hands-on driver training to 100,000 people, and a further 500,000 online.
The drive behind the programme is the alarming statistics surrounding the safety of young drivers; one in five major road accidents involved young novices in 2011, and in the same year 1,552 were killed or seriously injured in road accidents.
Stephen Odell, executive vice president of Ford, emphasised improving the safety of young drivers was the key motivation: “It’s a sobering statistic that 18 to 24 year olds in Europe are at almost twice the risk of being killed in road accidents as other drivers”, he said.
A recent survey completed by Ford of 9,500 young drivers showed concerning results, with most drivers admitting to speeding and two in five using their mobile while driving.
AA president Edmund King was also very keen on improving safety for young drivers on the road; “Road safety is the most important life skill for young people as crashes remain a major cause of accidental death in this age group.”
The scheme is free of charge, meaning Ford is set to invest over £1.2 million this year in hands-on and online training. 5,000 novice drivers will receive one-to-one instruction this year in the UK, while thousands more will take part in the online Driving Skills for Life Academy.