Life-saving lessons we learned at the 14th Ford DSFL

Life-saving lessons we learned at the 14th Ford DSFL

Since the introduction of the driver training program in the Philippines in 2008, the Ford Driving Skills For Life (DSFL) has trained — and imparted life-saving motoring education to — almost 30,000 drivers. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What lessons will be shared during the in-person sessions of the 14th Ford Driving Skills For Life?

    The hands-on driving session will include exercises on parking, braking, anti-distracted driving, and fuel-efficient driving.
  • How can the public enroll in the 14th Ford Driving Skills For Life?

    A number of virtual DSFL sessions will be open to the public to register and participate. Visit the Ford Philippines’ Facebook page for more updates.
  • Now marking its 14th edition this year, more motorists will benefit from the Ford DSFL — the physical restrictions brought by COVID notwithstanding. That’s because next to the face-to-face person training done since the beginning of the program, fully-virtual sessions for the Ford DSFL will also be staged alongside. 

    With the theme ‘Learning Safe and Fuel-Efficient Driving In The New Normal’, the 14th Ford DSFL will cover basic vehicle dynamics, car maintenance, driving in various conditions, and a brief refresher on new road rules and regulations. Meanwhile, the hands-on driving session will include exercises on parking, braking, anti-distracted driving, and fuel-efficient driving, among many others. 

    And among those important topics, what really made an impression on us during the launch of the 14th Ford DSFL are the driving tips and information that might just save our lives, and prompt us to be cautious drivers. 

    Human error is still the top cause of car accidents

    No matter how advanced vehicle technology has come, that doesn’t give us drivers the license to be complacent behind the wheel. At the 14th Ford DSFL, we were presented with grim statistics behind the fact that human error is the leading cause of fender-benders, citing the tally from the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and World Health Organization (WHO). 

    Ford headlight technology

    In 2021, a total of 58,447 accidents were counted in Metro Manila, with Quezon City leading this number with 21,978 collisions reported. Meanwhile, 42,812 of these resulted in damage to property, and in the same year, the most accident prone month was December with 5,602 crashes. 

    Behind these numbers could be lives and properties lost or damaged. 

    Safe driving starts with a safe vehicle 

    Driving safely is pointless if our vehicles aren’t roadworthy in the first place. At the 14th Ford DSFL, we were reminded to regularly inspect our vehicles’ condition and parts. 

    Ford Territory Engine Bay

    By checking our cars for leaks and levels of its vital fluids — such as engine and transmission, brake fluid, and coolant — we can avoid encountering breakdowns. Since tires are the only contact points between the car and the road, it’s important to check whether they still have enough tread to clear water on wet tarmac or they’re near the point of puncturing. 

    Slam on the brakes when necessary 

    One of the hands-on exercises at the 14th Ford DSFL is the emergency brake test. Here, we were to drive a 2023 Ford Everest of up to 60kph or so, then slam on the brakes as hard as possible before hitting two pylons placed on the path of the vehicle.  

    The point of this test is to brake hard enough to trigger the vehicle’s anti-lock brakes (ABS), a safety feature that prevents the car’s wheels from locking up during aggressive braking. It may feel disconcerting to feel the brake pedal juddering when the ABS kicks in, but that means you’re stopping the car in the shortest distance possible. 

    14th Ford Driving Skills for Life

    If you find yourself braking to avoid hitting a vehicle, object, or pedestrian, then having the right aggression on the anchors is a valuable skill to have. 

    Texting and driving never mix 

    It’s a safety rule that’s been around probably since the invention of the mobile phone, but with smarter phones and enticing apps these days, there are stronger reasons to keep reminding drivers to keep their hands on the wheel rather than be distracted by the phone. 

    To illustrate the effects of texting while driving at the 14th Ford DSFL, part of the exercise is to drive a Ford Territory around the cones two times, while using a phone and one run sans mobile. Of course, neither safe nor smooth driving were accomplished while we had one hand steering the wheel and another on the phone.

    In the real world, real lives and property will take the place of inanimate cones. 

    14th Ford Driving Skills For Life

    A number of sessions of the 14th Ford DSFL will be open to the public to register and participate, and will once again be facilitated by the Tuason Racing School. Visit the Ford Philippines’ Facebook page on updates on how to register — and soon, we’ll add to the 30,000 drivers out there who put safety first. 

    Photos from Ford, Ford Philippines, Roy Robles and Dylan Afuang 

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