Ford’s Driving Skills for Life Assists Road Safety During Easter Period

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, 27 March 2024 – Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program continues to enhance driving standards and promote road safety. This ensures that more motorists are equipped with these necessary and potentially life-saving skills, as they embark on journeys over the Easter Holidays – a time known for increased road risks. By empowering drivers with essential skills and awareness, the program aims to prevent accidents, ensuring a safe and enjoyable holiday season.Since the inception of DSFL in 2010 over 9 000 South African drivers have been trained, helping to reduce fatalities on our roads, despite the increasing number of registered learner drivers and licensed drivers. A report released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) shows that the number of learner driving licences issued increased by 8 079 (25.74%) from 1 081 615 in December 2021 to 1 089 694 in December 2022. The number of driving licences issued increased by 481 231 (3.34%) from 14 416 294 in December 2021 to 14 897 525 in December 2022.However, despite these increases, programs like DSFL appear to be playing an important role in reducing fatal accidents. The number of fatal crashes decreased by 7 percent from 1 395 during 2021/22 to 1 299 in 2022/23 whilst the number of fatalities decreased by 14 percent from 1 808 during festive period 2021/22 to 1 560 during festive period 2022/23. The most affected road user group during festive period 2022/23 were pedestrians, increasing from 36 to 41 percent of all road users.“Safety remains a top priority for Ford, and initiatives like DSFL can significantly reduce accidents, boost drivers’ road knowledge, and enhance their confidence,” says Derek Kirkby, Training Director at MasterDrive, which runs DSFL for Ford in South Africa. “DSFL plays a vital role in making roads safer, for drivers and pedestrians, especially during peak holiday periods.”DSFL campaigns raise awareness on child car seat safety, passenger safety, distracted driving and the perils of drinking and driving, as well as hijack extraction. Notably, the program uses ‘Drunk Goggles’ to simulate impaired vision and judgment, highlighting the dangers of intoxicated driving.The training focuses on five core driving skills, regularly updated to address new vehicle safety systems and evolving road hazards:Hazard recognition: Drivers learn to scan for potential hazards, particularly in busy scenarios like intersections, and identify safety zones while minimising distractions.Vehicle handling: Covers vehicle balance control and managing forces acting upon it, including acceleration, braking, and skid recovery techniques for different drive types.Space management: Emphasises awareness of surrounding spaces to avoid collisions, especially in South Africa’s congested road network.Speed management: Demonstrates dangers of excessive speed and reckless driving, complemented by emergency driving techniques and vehicle aids.Distracted and impaired driving: Highlights the risks of drunk and distracted driving, showcasing the impacts on concentration, awareness, and reaction times.With the roads busier than ever – especially during the Easter holiday period – Ford South Africa has some additional driving tips to keep in mind:Stay alert and rested: Avoid driving if you’re feeling drowsy. While leaving early to beat traffic is tempting, driving without enough sleep can be dangerous. Ensure your passengers stay engaged to help keep you awake.Maintain a safe distance: Keep at least a three-second gap between you and the car in front. If someone cuts in, take a deep breath and increase your following distance. Increase this gap to six seconds in rain or darkness.Anticipate other drivers: Be prepared for erratic driving from others. If someone seems reckless, give them space. Look beyond the car ahead for cues and be ready to react.Enjoy the ride: Instead of rushing, take breaks every two hours to stretch. Plan stops for everyone to relax, especially if traveling with children. It might take longer, but you’ll arrive refreshed.Check your vehicle: Before setting off, ensure all fluids are topped up, hoses and belts are secure and the vehicle has been recently inspected and services are up to date.Check your windscreen wipers for wear and tear: This is particularly important during heavy rain seasons. Replace the wipers if they’re brittle or cracked. Some Ford vehicles feature rain-sensing wipers for added convenience and safety.Don’t forget to inspect your tyres: They are your car’s only contact with the road. Make sure the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and have sufficient tread depth. Consult your owner’s manual or look for a label inside the front door openings for the recommended tyre pressures. Certain Ford models are equipped with a Tyre Pressure Management System to alert you to any tyre pressure issues.Ford DSFL remains committed to advancing road safety, empowering drivers, and reducing accidents through education and practical training.# # #Read the latest news from Ford South Africa by visiting the Newsroom:
LogoDudu Nxele
Corporate Communications Manager
Office: +27 12 842 2337

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