North Dakota teens participate in Ford Driving Skills for Life

Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

Grand Forks – The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) hosted a free, one-day safety event yesterday for more than 80 licensed drivers ages 14-18 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

Ford Driving Skills for Life gave teens the opportunity to drive through a closed course with various types of distractions, view the consequences of not wearing a seat belt through the rollover simulator and experience virtual simulators that focused on impaired driving, distracted driving and the importance of seat belt use. Each scenario allowed the driver to feel or witness the real-life effect their choices can have in a controlled environment.

Ford Driving Skills for Life gave teens the opportunity to drive through a closed course with various types of distractions, view the consequences of not wearing a seat belt through the rollover simulator and experience virtual simulators that focused on impaired driving, distracted driving and the importance of seat belt use. Each scenario allowed the driver to feel or witness the real-life effect their choices can have in a controlled environment.

Other important stations included teaching teens how to parallel park and what to do if their vehicle gets a flat tire through a car care clinic. In addition to these interactive stations, drivers also had the opportunity to participate in the North Dakota Safety Council’s Alive at 25 defensive driving course. 

In 2019 in North Dakota, teen drivers accounted for 5% of all licensed drivers but are behind the wheel in nearly 20% of all crashes. Teen drivers in North Dakota were involved in 12% of fatal crashes for the same period. Because of these statistics, it is important to continually educate teen drivers and provide them with opportunities to enhance their driving skills to move toward the goal of Vision Zero: zero fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes on North Dakota roads. 

Ford Driving Skills for Life gave teens the opportunity to drive through a closed course with various types of distractions, view the consequences of not wearing a seat belt through the rollover simulator and experience virtual simulators that focused on impaired driving, distracted driving and the importance of seat belt use. Each scenario allowed the driver to feel or witness the real-life effect their choices can have in a controlled environment.

This safety event was in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Transportation, North Dakota Safety Council – Alive at 25, Grand Forks Police Department, Dickinson Police Department, Grand Forks Sheriff’s Office, North Dakota Highway Patrol, University of North Dakota, University of North Dakota Police Department, ABATE of North Dakota, North Dakota Parks and Rec, Rydell Chevrolet, Lithia Ford Lincoln of Grand Forks, Strata Corporation, and Midnite Express, Inc.