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Ford has launched its 2016 Driving Skills for Life program, which aims to address one of the leading causes of death for young Australians – road tragedies.

Kicking off in Melbourne over the weekend before heading to Geelong, Canberra and Sydney over the next four weeks, the Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) aims to reach over 1000 young Australians and their parents.

The program will focus on four key areas – hazard recognition, vehicle handling, distracted and impaired driving, space and speed management – and has been specifically designed to address each of these through hands-on driver training.

Ex-Geelong Cats AFL star and father of four, Billy Brownless, has also been signed as the official spokesperson of the program.

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DSFL will also reinforce with parents the key role they play in teaching their kids to drive.

One of the young people taking part in the training at the program’s launch, motorbike rider Paul Dickinson (below), said that the program has helped him to understand the importance of modern safety systems.

Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch, Dickinson said: “It’s very educational to see just what would happen with all these new safety features they have nowadays.”

“I ride a bike that has drum brakes, and personally it’s on my wish list to get a bike that’s going to have those features that will stop me from hurting myself.”

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Meanwhile, P-plate driver Carla Lotito, said being able to experience safety aids in a controlled environment gives her some piece of mind when driving alone, and has given her a better understanding of what her own Ford Fiesta can do to protect her on the road.

“Going on the road by yourself can be really intimidating, scary sometimes,” she said.

“It’s good experience to get now rather than an actual real-life situation where it’s a hazard to you and other people on the road.”

“I actually have a Ford Fiesta, I’ve got pretty much the exact same car (as those used in the program), so I know that it does have those features.”

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First established in 2003, the Ford Driving Skills for Life program is publicly available for the first time this year.

The ticketed events offer a total of 250 free spots for participants in each city, available at www.forddsfl.com.au.

Ford Driving Skills for Life has already taken place in Melbourne (11-13 November) and will now head to Geelong (25-27 November) before Canberra (2-4 December) and Sydney (9-11 December).

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Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss this topic below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.

 

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