Ford launches young-driver training programme
Ford is bringing its international young-driver training programme to the UK, giving motorists aged 17-24 post-test tuition designed to help prevent them being involved in a crash. The training programme is free of charge.
The programme, which is called Ford Driving Skills for Life, will be launched here in September. It will focus on four key areas: hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed/space management and distractions – here, participants will learn how much texting and listening to music affects their driving. Some of the tuition will take place in the classroom, while there will also be driving instruction on both a private test track and public roads.
Ford's UK managing director, Mark Ovenden, said: 'It is a programme that is designed to build on what drivers do in their test, and to get them to understand their vehicles and what causes accidents.'
Ford started the programme in the US in 2003, and runs similar schemes in Asia. The UK scheme, which is part of as £1.2m launch across Europe, has been developed in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the AA, who will provide instructors for the programme. Initially, drivers taking the course will train in Ford Fiesta and Focus models, though bigger cars may also be added in the future.
The scheme's free places will be funded by Ford's charitable arm, and Ovenden said that the scheme would not be used as a method to market cars to young drivers, with that 'no commercial pressure' on participants.
The first six training centres will be located at or near universities and colleges where there are particularly high fatality rates among young drivers.
Ford expects up to 300 young motorists to take part in the scheme next year, with thousands being trained annually once the programme is fully up and running.