LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO HELP TEENS HONE THEIR DRIVING SKILLS
teenagers, obtaining a driver's license is a significant rite of passage, a sign
that they're growing up and ready to accept the responsibility of operating a
motor vehicle. Unfortunately, this exciting time for teenagers can also be dangerous.
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.
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), launched of Real
World Driver: Driving Skills for Life.
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.
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.
Recognition: Recognizing and anticipating hazards, such as distractions and intersections,
and dealing with them successfully. Safe techniques for approaching and turning
left at intersections are examples of what is addressed.
Handling: Learning how to handle different vehicles competently under a range
of driving circumstances and maneuvers. Vehicle balance, type and braking are
Management: Maintaining safe spacing with other traffic and managing space in
an emergency. This section addresses the importance of positioning your vehicle
safely in traffic.
Management: Driving at speeds that are right for conditions and maintaining control
in dangerous situations such as skids. Issues addressed are centered on knowing
the road, letting others know your intentions and knowing how to react to other
GHSA and Car and Driver will take the demonstrations on the road this fall
to major cities around the country to ensure that teens nationwide have the opportunity
to practice the four critical driving skills first-hand.
While hands-on, behind-the-wheel training and educational materials
are important elements of any safe driving program, Cischke reminds all drivers
that safety belts continue to provide the single, most effective protection in
any vehicle crash.
here for more information
on Real World Driver.