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Teen Driving Deaths on the Rise; Parents Can Help Reverse Trend

       Teen Driving Deaths on the Rise; Parents Can Help Reverse Trend

PR Newswire

DEARBORN, Mich., March 18, 2013

DEARBORN, Mich., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  oParents play a key role in teens' decisions on safe driving. Research for
    Ford's Driving Skills for Life program (DSFL) shows teens tend to emulate
    how their parents drive.
  oTraffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for American teens.
    There were more than 3,000 teen fatalities in 2010, according to the
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  oIn 2013, Ford Driving Skills for Life will reach about 200 high schools
    with its safe driving materials, thanks to Ford Motor Company Fund and the
    Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for American teens. In
recent weeks, a number of crashes involving teen drivers have led to more than
a dozen teenagers tragically losing their lives. And a recent report by the
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that teen driver fatalities
are on the rise among 16-17-year-old drivers.

Parents can help reverse that trend. Research done for Ford's Driving Skills
for Life (DSFL) program shows teens tend to emulate how their parents drive.
In fact, more than three quarters of teens and tweens surveyed say they rely
heavily on their parents' advice when they start to drive.

"By setting a good example behind the wheel, parents can increase the chances
their children will adopt safe driving practices," said Jim Vella, president,
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "While state laws and
educational programs are critical, ultimately, parents are the most critical
component to keep their teen drivers safe."

Tips for parents
Experts from Ford Driving Skills for Life have tips on what parents can do to
help their teens be better drivers:

  oEngage in the driving process – As teens get closer to earning/acquiring
    their learner's permit, parents should actively engage with them about
    driving. Talk about safe driving behaviors, practice with them, seek
    educational opportunities, and be clear that unsafe actions won't be
    tolerated.
  oBuckle up – It's the law, and if parents don't wear their seat belts,
    their teen is more likely to do the same. In a crash, a person not buckled
    up is much more likely to be injured or killed than someone wearing a seat
    belt.
  oNever speed – Research done for Ford Driving Skills for Life shows that if
    parents speed, their teens are more likely to do the same. Excessive speed
    continues to be a factor in about one third of all traffic deaths
    nationally.
  oDon't drive distracted – By setting a tough "no distractions" rule for
    their teens and modeling this same behavior, parents send the message that
    distracted driving will not be tolerated.
  oDon't follow too closely – Parents should keep the proper distance from
    the car in front of them. Rear end collisions are common and preventable.
  oAlways scan ahead for hazards  – Parents should remind their teens to be
    aware of what is going on around them by scanning to the right and left as
    they drive.
  oLimit the number of passengers – Research shows young drivers can easily
    be distracted by just one additional passenger – increasing the risk of a
    crash exponentially. Many graduated driver's license programs restrict the
    number of passengers as a condition of issuing an early license or permit;
    parents should enforce those restrictions.
  oNever drink and drive – Parents should remind teens that drinking and
    driving will not be tolerated.

Ford Driving Skills for Life
In 2013, Ford DSFL is doubling the number of students it reaches with its
hands on driving programs to 40,000. This includes visits to at least 40 high
schools in Arizona, California, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas
and Virginia with an array of activities focused on common driving challenges
faced by teen drivers. Teens will be able to experience real-world driving
situations in a controlled environment using specially equipped vehicles. The
hands-on clinics offer professional drivers and activities that build skills
in five key areas: driver distraction, speed management, space management,
vehicle handling and hazard recognition.

In addition to the hands-on clinics, Ford Driving Skills for Life will reach
an additional 150 high schools with its safe driving materials, Web-based
learning, partnerships with state highway safety agencies, fun contests and
free educational materials for parents and teachers.

You can find more information online at DrivingSkillsForLife.com.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, (NYSE: F) a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit
http://corporate.ford.com.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners
to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60
years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford
Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches
new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation
in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school
learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the
Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on
projects each year that better their communities in more than 20 countries.
For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.

SOURCE Ford Driving Skills for Life

Website: http://corporate.ford.com
Contact: Kelli Felker, +1-313-322-1790, kfelker1@ford.com