Ford Motor Company offers Safe Driving Skills Training for Teens

Area High School students have a rare opportunity to learn safe driving skills and protocols from Ford Motor Company.

The program is called Ford Driving Skills for Life.

The number one cause of teenage death in the United States starts with the turn of the key.

Motor vehicle accidents with young drivers are often caused by distracted driving.

"We all know, unfortunately, that traffic accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths in this country and we are looking for ways to prevent that and Ford Motor Company has an excellent program," said Hutchison High principal Daniel Domke.  "They come and talk to the kids, they talk specifically about two things:  They talk about texting while driving and they talk about actually control of the vehicle, how to actually drive a car."

Driving Skills for Life is a program that allows students to get a hands–on learning experience by actually putting students behind the wheel of a car.

"I think that what we do has several benefits, so one big one is that, by putting them behind the wheel, they get a sense of "car feel,"  ... what a car can do, what a car can't do," said Mike Speck of Ford's Driving Skills for Life.  "Many of the drills we have are specifically designed for failure, so even though the drills are fun, even though they get that sense of "car feel," our primary objective is to try and get them to think about the choices they make when driving."

The seminar portion of the program gave students plenty of food for thought.

"The Driving Skills for Life definitely changes some of my perceptives [sic] on driving," said Hutchison senior, Maddy Camp.  "I'll definitely, you know, pay more attention while I'm driving and I'm not going to start, like, texting and stuff and I really do want to go to the Driving Skills for Life so I can see how bad it actually affects you."

Ford Motor Company will conduct a hands–on driving portion of their program Saturday and Sunday, the 14th and 15th at the Big Dipper.

Online registration is required and the course is free.