PRETORIA, South Africa – Ford’s Driving Skills For Life programme has refused to stop reminding young drivers about the importance of safe road-use despite now being a not particularly active part of the year for training.
Think Covid-19 and the ANC’s restrictions on road-travel…
DSFL, using new products such as the Ford Figo Freestyle and EcoSport Ambiente a/t, continues to communicate correct practices for technology and safety at the wheel thanks to the brand’s modern features illuminating new topics for road safety.
DSFL has advice to the thousands of recently licensed drivers who will, understandably, be a little rough around the edges when normal traffic resumes.
Safe driving skills need to be reinforced at a time when the country needs to reserve hospital beds and medical staff for Covid-19 patients rather than for those involved in road accidents.
DSFL has been Ford’s award-winning, free, driver training programme for a decade – its aim to improve safe driving through teaching skills that the standard driving test does not even consider.
THOSE DARN PHONES
Extra training is needed today, thanks to the age of smartphones. A report from the Automobile Association in Britain has shown that a driver is twice as likely to be involved in a collision when using a smartphone – and young drivers were especially vulnerable.
The danger, according to Ford’s DSFL training director Derek Kirkby, is not holding the phone but more about concentration – even when using a Bluetooth connection. A recent American study found that texting made a collision 23 times more likely than undistracted driving.
Connectivity through the likes of Ford’s SYNC 3 with its steering-mounted controls is part of DSFL’s objective. Kirkby added: “If you use a smartphone as a GPS, get used to listening to the voice prompt and not looking at the phone’s screen.
Layton Beard from the Automobile Association of South Africa added: ”If you must receive a call via Bluetooth, answer using steering-wheel controls.
“Younger drivers are easily distracted by passengers so should be taught to focus on the road at all times. Unfortunately, distraction at any age can be fatal.”
WATCH THAT ALCOHOL LEVEL
DSFL also emphasises the dangers of drinking and driving to the youth – as one of the biggest threats to road safety. Arrive Alive research indicates that 50% of those killed on the road had a blood alcohol concentration above the (current) legal limit.
Using DSFL’s ‘Drunk Goggles’, young drivers can experience the alarming effects of impaired vision in a safe setting.
Ford’s DSFL has trained more than a million drivers in 40 countries to date (July 2020), which equates to an investment of more than R720-million. In Africa about 8000 drivers benefited from learning four primary driving skills:
- Hazard recognition
- Vehicle handling
- Speed management
- Space management
- Find out more about DSFL