After its success in other countries in Europe, Ford decided to also set up their technical driving challenge for adolescents in The Netherlands, and in a little under two weeks, I get to take part!
A few weeks ago, when I was skimming through my AutoWeek, I noticed an advert about an event hosted by Ford, called Driving Skills For Life. This event is organized to teach adolescents in between the ages of 18 and 24 the risks of certain actions while driving. Think of things like texting and driving, taking pictures, or even worse: driving drunk. To reproduce the effects of the latter, there will apparently even be some sort of drunk suit for us to put on, so that we get to fully experience the effects alcohol behind the wheel.
When I signed up, I wasn’t sure whether I would be entered into the schedule, due to the amount of people lining up to take part in this awesome initiative. About a week-or-so after I sent the email, I got a response by one of Ford’s interns, saying I was invited to the event on October 25th, in the afternoon. In the four hours that we will be there, instructors are going to help us get familiar with the problems that a lot of people deal with these days. Due to the increased use of technology, everywhere, it is almost necessary to help people recognize the dangers that come with it, if you cannot leave your phone alone for a few moments. Especially to teens, who rely most on their mobile phones, are most likely to carry over their habits to behind the wheel, once they are allowed to start driving cars. Therefore, with this event, Ford decided to focus – no pun intended – specifically on the younger generation, because we as a group, have the least amount of experience. Also, I think it is generally accepted that adults tend to be wiser, or at least think more about their actions.
I will admit that I have committed some of these crimes before. Quickly texting while driving, taking a quick sneak picture of some interesting car in front of you, etc. These are minor issues, but can be extremely dangerous if you don’t keep your eye on the road every other second. It will be interesting to see how I will cope with the situation once I get to actually take part on the 25th. I am especially looking forward to the drunk driving simulation, since I would never actually do something like that myself in real life.
Speaking of this drunk driving test: there is something interesting to say about it. Drunk driving isn’t necessarily something that only young people do. It is an act of all ages. However, even though the numbers on driving while having consumed alcohol are more evenly spread, the largest group of troublemakers still are young male drivers up to 25 years of age. This perfectly aligns with what Ford had in mind for its own event, since as I said earlier, the selected age group is 18-24.
On a more personal and less related note; because of the location of the event I will write about my experiences both in English and in Dutch. This will continue on into the future, since some of the things I (want to) write about are better suited for my own language.
As for the event itself, I will be taking notes, photos and video footage to create a wonderful set of articles, collages and videos to put up on the website. Also, I’m still hoping to get a Ford press car for the week, so I can go to – and leave – the place in style, and continue to review the car in my possession, so that I can create even more content. This however, is still work in progress, because their PR people have a difficult time responding to their e-mails.
Be sure to follow us on our social media to keep up to date with everything that is happening. If anything comes up concerning the press car, or some other exciting news, positive or negative, you will hear it there first. (usually on Twitter)
Have a good one,