New Alaska Initiative Announced to Prevent Teenage Accidents and Deaths on the Road
Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles and Ford Motor Company Launch The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program to Prevent One of the Major Causes of Injuries and Deaths for Teens
Anchorage, AK – The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced the launch of an innovative new program sponsored by Ford Motor Company that is designed to prevent one of the major causes of death and injury for teens on the road. Every year teens account for approximately 20% of the fatalities and major injuries that occur on Alaska's roads and highways, according to the Alaska Highway Safety Office. Utilizing the sponsorship funds committed by Ford, The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program printed curriculum will provide parents and guardians with an advanced research, sophisticated and free tool to optimize the 50 hours of parental supervised driving now required for the 8,000 Alaskan teens seeking learner’s permits each year.
“Simply put, we are instituting a program that we believe is going to save lives,” stated Governor Sean Parnell.
Adding to the Governor’s statement, Steve Kenner, Global Director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office stated, “The skills outlined in this guide are meant to help teens learn to be better drivers. It is one of the ways Ford works to help teens.” Kenner continued, “In addition to this program, Ford also offers Driving Skills for Life, which gives teens advanced real world training. Ford also offers MyKey technology, which gives parents options to help encourage safe driving behaviors even when the parents aren’t in the car.”
Through a public-private partnership supported by Ford Motor Company, the Alaska DMV is able to provide this valuable resource to parents of teen drivers at no cost to families or to taxpayers. The sponsorship allows the DMV to address a need and to provide parents with a resource geared toward skill development, and expanding the conditions and time that teens drive with their parents prior to driving independently.
“We welcome this public-private partnership provided at no cost to families, taxpayers or to the state that can make driving on our roads safer,” said Governor Sean Parnell. “Therefore, we are committed to making The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program available throughout the State of Alaska.”
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program focuses on the role of the parent in the teen driver education process and encourages parents and teens to drive together in a variety of weather conditions and unfamiliar settings, whether it is on more rural roads, in highway, city and heavy traffic routes, and also in a variety of conditions and times of day. The program offers an enhanced supervised driving experience and even encourages parents and guardians to extend the supervised driving period beyond the state requirement.
“Parents and guardians are in the best position to assure that their teens become safe drivers and their participation in this program will have a key influence on the reduction of teen crash rates,” explained Amy Erickson, Director of the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles. “This program offers a resource that will help parents and guardians ensure that their permitted teen makes the right decisions behind the wheel so that they are safe once they are licensed and driving independently.”
The program is available to parents and teens on multiple platforms, beginning with the printed curriculum that is distributed at DMV offices when the teen receives their learner’s permit. Parents and teens are also invited to connect with the program online and through social media as well as on a soon to be released mobile app that will help parents and teens track their drive times and become RoadReady.
“This state–of–the art program was developed by the foremost experts and organizations in highway safety,” stated Jeff Larson, President of Safe Roads Alliance, who worked in partnership with the Alaska DMV to develop the program for the state. “It will now be made available to Alaskan parents and guardians of permitted teens through multiple platforms, specifically through distribution of the printed guide that will be handed out at all DMV licensing offices when teens first receive their learner’s permit.”
For media resources on the program, visit www.theparentssuperviseddrivingprogram.com/media
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding the company and Ford products, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
About Safe Roads Alliance
Safe Roads Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving highway safety by improving driver education with particular emphasis on behind-the-wheel training.