Family First–Ford PH’s Driving Skills for Life Program Reinforces Family Safety Advocacy
As the saying goes, safety starts at home. From looking both ways before we cross the road to handing over a pair of scissors by holding them by the closed blades, safety is one of the very first things taught to us by our parents.
As Ford Philippines marks the 11th year of its Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program, the American carmaker has modified its globally-recognized driver’s training program by including the driver’s family members in it as part of a region-wide road and family safety advocacy that Ford is leading to reinforce the importance of being safe on the road, especially for families going on road trips.
“The DSFL has definitely come a long way in helping promote road safety and safety driving in the Philippines, so we’re definitely inspired year after year to think of ways to improve the training program, share more relevant tips and techniques in safe driving and road safety, and extend the reach to more Filipino drivers,” shared EJ Francisco, AVP, Communications, Ford Philippines.
Traditionally, Ford’s DSFL program caters to corporate clients, companies and organizations who want to augment their drivers’ knowledge by making them undergo the program as taught by road safety advocate JP Tuason and his team of professional drivers and instructors with the Tuason Racing School (TRS). The program usually starts with how to conduct a safety check of one’s vehicle prior to using it, like checking for leaks and assessing its tires’ quality, to what to do in emergency situations.
What follows next though are a couple of new additions to the DSFL program. First, under the auspices of its family safety advocacy, Ford Philippines showcases the safe and smart features of its class-leading vehicles through three courses, starting with an Emergency Braking Course to give participants a real-world experience of how a vehicle’s Anti-Lock Brake System works, followed by a Slalom Course to demonstrate the nimbleness and agility of its cars and trucks. It was the third course, the Anti-Distracted Driving Course, that proved to be an eye-opener for most participants as it is conducted in two parts–first, the driver is instructed to type a message on a mobile phone while driving, and the second, for the driver to just concentrate solely on driving. The time difference between the two parts–coupled with the struck pylons in the first part, if any–emphasizes the reason why we now have an Anti-Distracted Driving Law and why there’s a need for drivers to focus solely on driving while on the road.
“We recognize how easy it is for drivers to get distracted while in traffic everyday, so our family safety advocacy is a fitting reminder to reinforce the importance of keeping one’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while driving,” added Francisco. “As the global leader in vehicle safety, our class-leading cars, SUVs, and trucks have in-car safety features and technologies that help families get home safely.”
The third and final part of the revised DSFL program is what really drives Ford’s family safety advocacy home, literally and figuratively.
While the adults were undergoing their own classroom-style, safety-driving session with the TRS drivers, a different group of TRS drivers were teaching the kids of the DSFL participants.
First, the kids listened to lectures on the different aspects of road safety, from the rules inside the car and on the road to how to cross the road and what safety gear to wear when they’re riding their bikes around their neighborhood. Afterward, the kids then pedaled their way around a makeshift track on some of the karts provided by TRS where they were told to apply what they learned from the lectures, like speeding, braking, respecting the pedestrian lane, and being courteous to other drivers.
By including children in the DSFL program, Ford is imparting to them the importance of being responsible on the road even at a young age which, in turn, will hopefully make them responsible drivers on the road in the future. It’s been said many times over but the message is still true today as it was more a century ago; regardless of who said it best, be it Jose Rizal or Whitney Houston, the future lies with the children–and Ford is leading the way.