Ford Driving Skills for Life comes to Wisconsin for the first time ever July 18 and 19


July 6, 2015

School may be out, but safe driving is still in session.

More than 250 teens will have the opportunity to improve their driving skills by operating specially equipped vehicles on challenging courses under the supervision of professional instructors as part of the Ford Driving Skills for Life program. Teen drivers may attend one of the four half-day sessions to be held free of charge on Saturday, July 18, and Sunday, July 19, at the Hill Farms State Transportation Building, 4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Madison.

Teens attending the program will learn driving skills that typically are not taught in driverís education, such as how to handle a vehicle on slippery pavement or react to a deer in their path. Each session will provide hands-on experience with vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed management and space management. Teens also will learn about the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving.

Information and registration for a morning or afternoon session are available online at Registration is limited, and signed consent forms are required along with a valid driverís license or permit. Parents are encouraged to participate with their teen drivers.

The free program is offered by Ford Motor Company Fund in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

"Our program is focused on providing young and inexperienced drivers with the training and tools they need to stay safe behind the wheel," said Jim Graham, manager of Ford Driving Skills for Life. "We are excited to bring this program to Wisconsin for the first time as we look to provide an extra step in the learning process for new drivers."

"The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is proud to partner with the Ford Driving for Skills for Life staff to bring this training program to our state for the first time ever," said David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "With this program, teens will gain the knowledge and experience necessary to prevent crashes that injure or kill far too many young drivers each year."

According to WisDOT, 48 Wisconsin teens (15 to 19 year olds) were killed in traffic crashes in 2014 with 24 of them behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by the Ford Motor Company Fund, GHSA and a panel of safety experts with the mission of teaching newly licensed drivers the necessary skills for safer driving and the importance of making good decisions while on the road. By the end of 2015, the program will have conducted hands-on training in all 50 states since its inception.

A You Tube video of the program is available at: