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Car crashes are the leading cause of death for young people and the summer period has significantly increased the risk with almost two thirds of young people saying they are more relaxed with their driving during the holiday months. Results have revealed that in the summertime, 18-24 year olds account for 21 per cent of all death on the road.
According to the report by European Road Safety Observatory, poor reading of the road, impairment from substances or stress and distraction are among the most common factors in accidents involving young drivers.
Ford commissioned a survey of 6,500 young Europeans to better understand the risks they take. *** This shows that 57 per cent have exceeded speed limits, 43 per cent have sent a text while driving, 36 per cent have taken calls and sent instant messages, 16 per cent have driven without wearing their seatbelts, 13 per cent have driven after drinking, and up to 11 per cent have watched videos or TV shows on their devices.
In addition, the survey reveals 41 per cent take more risks with friends in the car, and up to 57 per cent drive more safely with older relatives. For this reason, Ford has created a new spoof video to which introduces the concept of ‘blow ups’ in an attempt to raise further awareness amongst young people of the dangers of driving. This fictional product is an inflatable grownup, triggered to expand when young drivers are reckless behind the wheel.
Ford is also offering a free training programme for young drivers entitled Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL). In Europe, by the end of 2016, the programme will have trained more than 20,000 drivers across 13 countries.
Jim Graham, Manager of Ford DFSL, said; “Summer is a great time to enjoy the freedom of driving, which is as much a part of being young today as it was for previous generations. But too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making.”
“It is crucial that we find the right way to reach young people with these very important messages and to ensure that as many drivers as possible have the opportunity to benefit from DSFL training.”
The dates for the Driving Skills for Life programme in the UK will be announced later this year.