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Portland area teenagers to learn safe driving skills at Ford-sponsored event

Posted by on September 8th, 2016 at 8:20 am

(Photo: Ford Motor Company)

(Photo: Ford Motor Company)

Nearly 3,000 teenagers die every year in motor vehicle crashes in our country — it’s the leading cause of death in the 12-19 year age group and represents nearly half of all teenage fatalities.

As a bicycle rider (and father of a teenager), it’s quite unpleasant to think about sharing the road with these inexperienced and often distracted young people. That’s why I’m happy to share that this weekend Ford is sponsoring a series of free “Driving Skills for Life” clinics that will teach teens from around the region how to drive safely.

The event is part of a national tour that Ford Motor Company has been organizing for 12 years and it’s being promoted by the Oregon Department of Transportation as an element of their Vision Zero plans.

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There are four clinics scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday (9/10-11) that will take place on Port of Portland propery in northwest.

Here’s a promotional video to give you a taste of how the clinics are run:

Some of the skills taught in the clinics include: safety of vulnerable roadway users, driving while impaired and/or drowsy, speed management, hazard recognition, and handling. Ford will supply a special drunk driving suit that mimics impaired conditions — and hopefully scares the teens from ever feeling that way while behind the wheel. The teens are paired with professional drivers and parents are encouraged to attend.

If you are the parent, friend, or caregiver of a newly licensed teenage driver, check out the resources and register for the free Portland clinics at DrivingSkillsForLife.com.

Our driver’s education and licensing system is woefully inadequate so it’s good to see a private company step up and provide this type of education and training.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Dave
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Dave

Please, let them scare the hell out of kids regarding texting and other phone abuse behind the wheel–if they don’t send some teen to therapy over it they won’t have done their job. Also, hope there is at least a teeny little bit of discussion aimed specifically at teenaged boys to try and de-link our society’s sick and twisted connection between driving and masculinity.

endo
Guest
endo

This is going to come out wrong because this is the internet, but I want to ask anyway…. is this a sponsored post? It’s weird to me that you would be mentioning Ford so many times in this post. Ford’s business is convincing people that they all need to own their very own killing machine. Touting them as somehow being part of the Vision Zero solution seems odd. This post seems really out of character with your other posts.

If this is a sponsored post you should really say so. If it’s not, well, I guess it seems like an odd choice to have five mentions of Ford and a Ford promo video in a 350-word post.

Champs
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Champs

I am sorry to say that this comment is the first instance of the word “phone” in this article.

One thing I notice when I’m watching rush hour traffic on busy streets is that *lots* of people are texting. Another thing is riding on SW 2nd/3rd/4th and waiting for the driver in front of me to look up from their phone to notice the signal has changed.

…and yet I’m so sorry anyone lost a few precious seconds trying to drive around me. After all, they are much more measurable than the weeks, months, and years of life they don’t seem to care about.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Um….donuts??

Adam
Subscriber

This is so America… Big business doing what the government refuses to do or lacks the funds for. Still, can’t argue against more driver training.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

A DMV version of this should be required for all drivers, every 10 years.

Spiffy
Subscriber

“Ford DSFL free hands-on clinics help newly licensed drivers (teens with a permit or license) improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of vehicle crashes, including: Hazard Recognition, Vehicle Handling, Speed and Space Management. There also is a comprehensive section on Distracted and Impaired Driving.

where are you getting “safety of vulnerable roadway users” from? it’s not listed on their agenda for the course…

Spiffy
Subscriber

car companies are really scrambling for some good marketing in the face of a declining market…

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Please hang up and ride.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I like the idea of these kinds of courses. Funny that they show lots of speeding, swerving & drifting to make it appear more fun.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

“Every year in Oregon, 25,000 6th graders take their traffic test.”

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/bicycle-training-in-the-netherlands/

Nobody in the car is wearing helmets either.

Carrie
Subscriber

My bike-riding-everywhere teen is taking this course on Saturday. We’re all really curious to see what it entails — I’ll report back. I’m super excited for her to get some good training on distance estimation and travel speed — it’s pretty amazing as the parent of a new driver who has talked and demonstrated about vulnerable road users how bad she is at really knowing how fast she’s going and how long it takes to stop. I do wish this was part of school curriculum and think it should be, but since it isn’t I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Matt S.
Guest
Matt S.

Maybe Trek should teach a course on how to respond to an approaching stop sign or how to travel safely down Williams St.

Mike G
Guest
Mike Gilliland

I am fully in support educating more pavement users. Only wish they could expand this for any driver, any age, and that they include intermingling with pedestrians, bikes, motorcycles, semi-trucks, scooters, etc., in the syllabus.

Jayson
Guest
Jayson

Just saw this. Ford is getting into the bike share business:

http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2016/09/ford_makes_bike-share_ride-hai.html

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Too bad Trek et al does not do something similar for BTA in May or SRTS in Fall.

JV
Guest
JV

My daughter (got her learner’s permit about 2-3 weeks ago and driving pretty well already) took this course and had a great experience. I was prepared for some heavy-handed Ford marketing, but she said that didn’t happen. She said they were pretty heavy-handed (appropriately, IMO) about distracted and chemically-influenced driving. My take away: a good opportunity to explore the limits of your skills and the machine in a controlled environment with professional instruction.