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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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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.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…killing machine. …” endo

That’s overdoing it with the rhetoric, and tends to rank people that use it and related terms, with the sort of fanatical people that refer to bicycles in terms such as ‘suicide machines’. Difficult to expect such people to be willing to work together, or with anyone else, to have use of either bikes or motor vehicles on the road, be a safe means of travel.

Ford’s “Driving Skills for Life”, safe driving event directed towards young people, is of course, a promotion for the sale of motor vehicles, or as spiffy refers to it, “…a marketing ploy…”, but I would say, not ‘just’ a marketing ploy, because working to promote responsible use of their products to support safe conditions for travel on the road…is very much in the interest of companies that make and sell motor vehicles.

Bike manufacturers and bike shops use marketing strategies to connect with people that are or might be people that ride, buy, and have bikes repaired. If or when, because some probably already do…bike manufacturers and shops put together events that have a ‘Biking Skills for Life’ type focus, I’m willing to bet most people are going to think of such events are a good thing. I think most people want people that bike to have skills necessary for riding safely as possible, whatever conditions they’re presented with.

People already are interested in cars, pickups, what have you…that’s a given, just as is the likelihood they’ll buy them. Ford wouldn’t have to do this safe driving event to get people to buy, but by doing it, maybe they’ll be helping to pique people’s interest in things they can do to drive safely.

Champs
Guest
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.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

This course should have a phone/distracted component, where they coordinate throwing a dummy out from behind a van with a phone notification.

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…

J_R
Guest
J_R

Really? A declining market? Total vehicle sales in the US were 9 million in 2009 and are 18 million now. All the graphs I can find indicate a pretty consistent upward trend since 2009. Sales are now about what they were in 2000 to 2005.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

That’s just beyond cherry-picking. From 2003-2013 we saw declining per capita miles travelled and over much of that time frame we also saw declines in total miles travelled. Since 2009, a nadir for auto sales because of both the breaking of the economy by the banksters and a noticeable rise in fuel prices, we have had cash-for-clunkers, a massive decline in fuel costs and an economic recovery that allowed for those who would have replaced cars in 2008-9 to do so.

I’m not saying that the current trend isn’t for increased car sales, it is. Sadly, we’ve also been seeing rises in per capita and total miles driven, with even larger rises in roadway deaths and injuries. What I am saying is that one should not pick the nadir and peak to assess long-term trends.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Beyond cherry picking? What’s YOUR data source for a “we also saw declines in total miles travelled?”

My source is FHWA’s June 2016 Traffic Volume Trends. The table on page 2 indicates 2016 is the highest value for all years 1991 to 2016.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/travel_monitoring/16juntvt/16juntvt.pdf

Per capita VMT may be falling but total VMT definitely is NOT.

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

Cherry-picking. Hmm. Statement about a declining market is refuted with data from multiple credible sources. That’s cherry-picking?
So you counter it with a “we saw” (anecdotal fallacy) statement citing no source what-so-ever. I’m not saying that there wasn’t a decrease in capita miles traveled, but if you are going to call someone out for a logic fallacy, you should probably have your sources in line. Further, the original statement had nothing to do with miles traveled, but was about the sales market (straw man fallacy).

I do like that you mentioned a 30 day program (C.A.R.S.) from 7 years ago as some sort of a major boon for the auto industry. Less than 700k vehicles were sold from that program, almost about how many vehicles are currently sold in a one month period.

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

Interesting that you call it a declining market. 2015 was a record breaking year for auto sales in the US and 2016 is on track to beat it. I guess it is declining from the standpoint that is is not expected to break the record as soundly as it did in 2015.

Of course these are only two sources, so I am sure there are others that will refute this data. And this data is a couple months old, so maybe July and August were incredibly terrible for auto sales (certainly not indicated by my place of work – lots of new temp tags on shiny autos).

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/07/usa-auto-sales-brand-results-june-2016-ytd.html
http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Please hang up and ride.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Do your blankets ever dry out?

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.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Good point. If we want to make a dent in teen deaths on the roads, we need to get people to wear proper motoring helmets in cars. It’s a two-fer: It both protects their brains and makes driving so uncool that they will be less inclined to do it.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

At 16, you can drive a 1hp e-bike without a license or a 600hp car with a license. Maybe requiring helmets for drivers under 18 would help that (let’s “start a conversation”), but how about a 100W e-bike permit for 10yo kids?

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 2
Guest
Mike 2

I hate it when stop signs move – let alone towards me. Fight or flight kicks in big time.

jered bogli
Guest
jered bogli

I would love to know how to travel safely down Williams, bikes everywhere, slow and all over the place, cars are even slower… at least with two lanes of car traffic I was able to auto pace home and not get all tangled up with other bikes and static traffic and pesky islands strewn about every block slowing me down even more. Disaster! BUT it is much slower now – for everyone.

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.