Ford offers free driving program teaching safety

Some teens across the valley got an opportunity to become a safer and more alert driver, all for free. It's part of the annual "Ford Driving Skills for Life" that takes place in Phoenix.

- Some teens across the valley got an opportunity to become a safer and more alert driver, all for free. It's part of the annual "Ford Driving Skills for Life" that takes place in Phoenix.

Squealing tires are normally not a good sound, but now teenagers are making that sound on purpose. It's all a part of the program aimed to reduce the number of fatalities.

"And the reason it's important because the leading cause of death in teens is vehicle crashes," said Jim Graham.

Graham is the manager of the program and says for the past decade they've trained nearly 10,000 students in Arizona through four different courses.

"The whole idea behind it is we can't guarantee they're never going to get into a crash, but hopefully they've learned something that can help them avoid crashes, or limit the outcomes of them in a positive way," said Graham.

The courses include driving impaired, distracted driving, vehicle handling and recognizing hazards.

"I've really learned how to control the wheel, especially when there's a lack of friction, which is what we're learning in physics class right now," said Isa Moore.

Moore has only had her license for about a month. She says she's a little nervous on the roadways, but this program has helped her confidence. Same goes for Bryce Palmer; he says the impaired driving portion opened his eyes.

"I mean even if you haven't done it before, you think it wouldn't be hard, but coming here shows you there is still a lot to learn and a lot to work on," said Palmer.

The teens say the exercises help them learn how to react if this happens to them while they're driving.

"People always tell you about the risks of distracted driving and losing control of your vehicle, and this is just a great environment to see it in action and really learn from it," said Palmer.

The program is geared toward teens, but anyone is welcome to sign up for it.

The course this year is full, but to take a similar class online visit: https://www.drivingskillsforlife.com/


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