Ford is taking safety into their own hands by creating a program to teach young adults the skills they need to be good drivers. Ford Driving Skills for Life is a driver’s education program that began in 2003 created by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts. In their ongoing mission to teach kids how to drive they developed a contest that will enable kids to use their creative talents to spread the word about driving safety. Ford’s "Belt it Out: Sing for Safety" campaign has allowed thousands of teenagers across America to write and record their own music that carries with it a message to learn how to drive safely and the winners will receive scholarships of up to $5000 each. Not bad for a weekend project with your friends.
Car accidents are the number one killer of teenagers in America with a death rate of 5,000 teens per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The four key areas that can drastically reduce the number of teenage car crashes are hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management. By taking these four categories in to account the number of car crashes involving teenagers could be reduced by as much as 60%. This is an incredible number and obviously a problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible.
The video above shows our favorite contestant in the “Belt it Out” contest and after the jump you can see the rest of the story and a few more of the finalists as they sing their way to safer driving and a scholarship. Oh yeah, the press release is there too.
Ford has taken care of one side of the spectrum on this topic, but we must wonder if anyone has taken an interest on the opposite side of this spectrum. According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who are 65 and older experience climbing fatality rates and in the age group of 75-84, total about 3 deaths per 100 million miles driven. This rate is equal to the death rate of teenage drivers and the rate increases to four times higher than teenagers for drivers 85 and older.
We are ecstatic that Ford and the National Highway Traffic Administration have taken part of the responsibility to teach kids to drive and save lives in the process, but can someone please take responsibility for the elderly as well? We can only imagine these elderly death rates will increase as baby boomers try to hang on to their independence.
Okay, enough of our PSA. Check out these videos. Some may surprise you. Others might make you laugh.
Teens across the country are using their creative talents to write and record music with an important message: what can we do about the leading cause of death in our generation?
More than 6,000 young lives are lost on American roads each year. Ford Driving Skills for Life, an award winning driver’s education program developed by Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association, created a "Belt it Out: Sing for Safety" safe driving campaign to encourage teens to compose songs with safe driving messages. Winners will receive up to $5,000 each.
Ford Driving Skills for Life emphasizes four key skill areas: speed management, space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition. Experts have identified the lack of these skills to be the cause of approximately 60 percent of vehicle crashes for newly licensed drivers ages 16-19. Ford Driving Skills for Life has reached hundreds of thousands of teens online through interactive training and thousands more in hands-on driving events around the country.
Entries from the ten finalists are posted on www.drivingskillsforlife.com. Members of the public can help select the winners by voting online for their favorite songs.
The finalists are from high schools in Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee; four are solo artists and the rest are comprised of bands with 4 or 5 students.
The top five vote getters will advance to the final round of the competition on May 1. Kate Voegele, Ford Driving Skills for Life spokesperson and popular singer, songwriter and actress, will select the top three winners. An announcement of the winners will be made June 1.
"As a father of a young adult, I know first-hand a parent’s worry when new drivers take to the road," said Jim Graham, Manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. "It is gratifying to see teenagers excited about learning and sharing safe driving messages and to hear the heartfelt thanks of parents."
Ford Driving Skills for Life was created in 2003 in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association. It is one of the nation’s most comprehensive teen driver safety programs. In addition to hands-on events, it offers learning tools such as an interactive Web site (www.drivingskillsforlife.com) with learning modules, quizzes, car care and driving tip videos and games. Free educator packets are available for students, parents, educators and community organizations. Tailored programs can be created to meet the specific needs of communities and schools.