OREANDA-NEWS. October 20, 2015. Ford Driving Skills for Life supports National Teen Driver Safety Week and Ford employees can show their support, too, by taking the safe driver pledge.

Click here to take the online pledge. Employees working in southeast Michigan are encouraged to sign the safe driving pledge in-person at World Headquarters, near the Ford Fund display.  

Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, has a special message for Ford employees in the video below.

As an initiative to encourage parents to speak to their teen drivers about the dangers of driving, the U.S. federal government sponsors National Teen Driver Safety Week during the third week of October.

To help support this initiative, experts from Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program offer these tips on how teens - and their parents – can be safer drivers:

1. Engage in the driving process – Research done for Ford Driving Skills for Life shows that more than three quarters of tweens say they will rely heavily on the advice of their parents when they start to drive. Parents can have a positive impact by serving as role models and discussing safe driving practices early and often with their children.

2. Buckle up – Always remind your teenager how important the single click of a seat belt can be. Statistics show that seat belt usage is lowest among teenagers, even though seat belts continue to be proven as the number one life-saving device in crashes.

3. Slow down – Speed-related factors continue to be reported in about one-third of all traffic deaths nationally.

4. Set a curfew – Make sure your teen knows when you expect them home, and make sure they know it's not debatable. Visit www.ghsa.org to determine driving hours allowed under Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws for newly licensed or permitted drivers.

5. Don’t drive distracted – Tasks which take the driver’s eyes from the road for extended times and hands off the steering wheel creates the kind of distraction that can be especially hazardous. Tasks such as using a hand-held device and texting, or eating, or putting on make-up can significantly increase the risk of a crash. By parents setting a tough “no distractions” rule, young drivers are more likely to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. 6. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol – You may assume your teen knows this, but it's worth a sit-down talk. Make sure your teen is aware of the dangers of impaired driving – or getting into a vehicle with someone who is under the influence of drugs and /or alcohol.