Auto auction hosting teen driving clinic

The free training sessions focus on necessary skills for safe driving, including pedestrian and cyclist education.

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  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Registration is open for four free, hands-on Ford Driving Skills for Life clinics at Manheim Orlando for newly licensed drivers focusing on critical factors influencing teen crashes: vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed, space management, distraction and impairment.

Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford, and the Governors Highway Safety Association are bringing the clinics to Manheim Orlando, 11801 W. Colonial Drive., Ocoee, Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23.

Now in its 20th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life supports the goal of Vision Zero — to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility. The program pairs newly licensed or permitted drivers with professional driving instructors for hands-on driving training in a safe, closed-course environment.

Developed by Ford Fund, GHSA and safety experts, the program addresses issues and critical factors that influence crashes, including vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed and space management, distracted driving, and impaired driving.

The free training clinics focus on necessary skills for safe driving, including pedestrian and cyclist education, and is being conducted in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation.

“At Ford Fund, we invest in programs that create safer conditions for all road users, including those without car-centric mobility journeys. We believe that everyone deserves access to reliable, safe and affordable mobility,” said Joe Provenzano, mobility director with the Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches safe driving practices to newly licensed teen drivers in the context of vulnerable road users like pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. By training teen drivers, the program results in a safer journey for both the new drivers as well as those who share the road with them.”

Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate with their teens, given the significant role they play in shaping their child’s driving habits. Parents can register their teens for a free training session by visiting

According to the CDC, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, and teens ages 16-19 are three times as likely as those ages 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. However, roadway safety is about more than just the driver, and that’s underpinned by this alarming statistic: Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. GHSA estimates that 7,435 pedestrians were struck and killed in 2021 – the highest number in 40 years.

“Safety of all users on the transportation systems are important to FDOT,” said Loreen Bobo, safety administrator for Florida Department of Transportation District Five. “Our newest drivers are learning the rules of the road, which is a lot of responsibility. Programs like this one help teach beyond just the rules of the road and show how to best handle unfamiliar situations ahead of when they might happen.”

“Teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a fatal crash,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, GHSA senior director of external engagement and a nationally recognized teen safe driving expert and co-author of a teen driving book. “Through our 20-year partnership with Ford Driving Skills for Life, we are helping new drivers understand the risks associated with their inexperience and how to reduce them through skill-based training. We’re also reinforcing the critical role parents play in keeping not only their teen driver safe but everyone else on the road – other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders.”


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