Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) has wrapped up 2018 having enjoyed its most successful year yet with over 1 600 motorists benefitting from the programme across the Middle East and Africa region, including South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Providing free training and instilling safe driving practices, the DSFL programme offered an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the four main primary driving skills: hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management.
Ford DSFL was introduced to South Africa in 2010, and the innovative award-winning programme continues to make an impact locally, with courses held this year in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg and Pretoria.
It has now also been expanded to seven markets across the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, comprising Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar as the latest addition.
In Nigeria, the programme was introduced in partnership with Ford’s local representative, Coscahris Motors Limited.
Heading north, the pioneering DSFL programme added Morocco to its line-up this year, along with Dubai in the UAE. InSaudi Arabia, Ford hosted the special global debut of its ‘DSFL for Her’, a new customised version of Ford’s award-winning safe-driving initiative, helping to build confidence behind the wheel as participants there prepared to be among the first-ever women to be issued a driving license in the Kingdom.
The groundbreaking DSFL for Her course followed the landmark decision last year, as decreed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.
“Safety continues to be a key priority to Ford, and providing campaigns such as DSFL can only help reduce the number of road accidents, and increase young drivers’ knowledge and confidence on the road,” said Jim Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life.
“Ford also made history in 2018 when it hosted the first-ever practical hands-on driving training for women in Saudi Arabia – DSFL for Her – specifically designed to accommodate Saudi females embarking on their first journey behind the wheel of a car. These are the kind of occasions that make Ford exceptionally proud of the success DSFL has enjoyed this year, as the programme continues its rapid expansion, and evolves to adapt to needs of the markets in which it operates,”Graham added.
Ford Driving Skills for Life has gone from strength to strength every year since its initial trials in the United States some 15 years ago, and in Asia and South Africa a few years later. The acclaimed safe driving training programme was established in 2003 by Ford Fund, GHSA, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly-licensed drivers necessary skills beyond standard driver education programmes. In 2013, Ford DSFL branched out into both Europe and the Middle East, where it has enjoyed continued success. In 2017, the programme celebrated reaching the one-millionth newly-licensed driver trained, free of charge in a Ford vehicle.
Globally, around 1.25 million people lose their lives in road accidents each year, while between 20 and 50 million others suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability. World Health Organisation’s statistics indicate that the vast majority of traffic accident victims are young people, and that road accidents represent the second largest cause of death in the world for the 15-29 age group.
Now in its 15th year as a signature programme of the Ford Fund, Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free training to more than one million newly-licenced drivers in 40 countries, which equates to an investment of more than $50 million, highlighting Ford’s commitment to promoting safety on the road.