With P-plate drivers seven times more likely to be killed or injured when driving in the dark compared to fully-licensed drivers, the free Ford Driving Skills for Life program hits the road from June-September 2023, visiting regional and metro locations across NSW, QLD, and VIC. In line with National Road Safety Week (14-21 May, 2023), Ford Australia has announced that night driving will be a focus for the 2023 Driving Skills for Life program which launched yesterday.
“What I see is kids who often have had very minimal night driving experience, and when you have difficult conditions – in the dark, when it’s raining, perhaps with friends in the car – and you combine that with less experience… it can make for a very dangerous situation. That’s what we want to tackle with Driving Skills For Life this year,” said James Stewart, Director at Driving Solutions.
The Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program, delivered by Driving Solutions, is tailored to new and young drivers, and will be touring metro and regional areas in NSW, QLD, and VIC.
DSFL involves practical training with expert instructors to help participants become more skilled and safer drivers. The program covers techniques that are not typically covered in L-Plate driver instruction, and is particularly focused this year on the risks of driving at night on Australian roads such as emergency braking, steering and vision, cornering, parking and a ‘fatigue suit’ designed to demonstrate the dangers of driving when sleep deprived.
According to research conducted by the Victorian Government and Transport Accident Commission, P-plate drivers are seven times more likely to be killed or injured while driving at night compared to fully licensed drivers.
According to the NSW government, fatigue accounts for around 20 per cent of road deaths in NSW and the risk of having a fatigue-related crash is four times greater late at night or early in the morning. Students who tend to stay up late are among those most likely to feel fatigued and therefore at greater risk of being involved in an accident after dark[iv].
“There’s nothing more important on the road than safety and that’s why we found the statistics around how many more young people suffer injuries and fatalities at night so concerning,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand. “We’re hoping that by teaching young drivers practical night driving skills, we might help keep them just that bit safer on the road.”
A signature program of the Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches newly licensed and teen drivers the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs. Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free, advanced driver education to more than one million people worldwide since its founding in 2003.
Ford Driving Skills for Life captures teen and parent interest with hands-on driver training clinics that pair newly licensed drivers with professional instructors, focusing on the issues and obstacles drivers face that cause crashes, including hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, space management and distracted and impaired driving.
Driving Skills for Life is a free course, delivered by professional driving instructors around Australia. The program is open to drivers aged between 16-24 years old, who hold a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license. Registrations are now open at www.FordDSFL.com.au
Photographs by Ford Australia,