11th Ford Driving Skills For Life

Today, it's rare to find something so valuable for free, even some public comfort rooms require fees. Even more when it comes to learning, as education is undeniably expensive. Yes, there are some seminars that come for free but you really can't guarantee full satisfaction every time – not when it's the Ford Driving Skills For Life (DSFL). 

The DSFL program is Ford's classroom and hands-on seminar that aims to educate both drivers and drivers-to-be. Attendees are taught to become smart, safe, as well as fuel-efficient drivers. Now, in a country that faces almost-unsolvable traffic problems, seminars as such are among the best ways we can be part of the solution.

Listen, crying out loud on social media won't help, that’s for sure. What you need is to get out your house and start the change within yourself. That's exactly what we did. We heard Ford was conducting its 11th DSFL program so we wasted no time and went straight there. We’ve learned a bunch of things (some, you might already know) and we're more than willing to share it to you.

How do you evaluate your car before you go for a drive? 

While most people would answer, "pop-up the hood and check closely what needs a fixing." Though this is absolutely correct, not everyone is familiar when it comes to motor engines and other components found under the hood of a car. Also, it isn't the easiest way there is, say, you're in a hurry because mom or wife is waiting for you to pick her up. 

According to JP Tuason, founder of Tuason Racing School, the easiest way you could tell whether your car's good to go or not is check for leaks underneath. If there is, examine if the leak is viscous or not and if it is, that’s when you should start considering an urgent trip to your mechanic. It could be any of the fluid in your car and might point out to brake fluid, transmission fluid, or engine oil leak.

What is aquaplaning and how to properly deal with it? 

If this is the first time you hear aquaplaning, it's what happens when you drive over a flooded area at certain speed where your steering gets lighter than it ordinarily is. Aquaplaning is caused by the building of a layer of water between the wheels and the road. This leads to loss of traction, worse, to an accident. So, what's the right thing to do whenever you find yourself in that situation? 

Slowing down isn't really what you wanted to do. Why? If you step on the brake pedal while at the moment of aquaplaning, the rotation of your wheels will not match the travelling motion of your car, causing your vehicle to possibly spin out of control. The key to controlling your vehicle is to keep your pace and your steering wheel steady until you get out of the situation. In time, your tires will regain traction.

Drinking and driving gives you free pass to the worst. 

It has been out on the internet; there are commercials, short films, and infographics about it and, yet, a bunch of folks still do it. As long as there are still people doing it, we'll keep on saying it - never bring your car to a party you know you'll get wasted. If you have to bring your car, always have someone who'll stay sober to accompany you and take over driving duties. 

It's a difference between life and death. Driving while under the influence is very dangerous - even more, driving while hungover. Trust us, we tried the 'beer goggles' brought by Ford and got instantly dizzy. To demonstrate, two volunteers were asked to perform the sobriety test using the goggles – none of the two were able to walk straight down the line. Well, what more if they were asked to drive?

Rear passengers should wear seatbelts, all the time. 

Cars, specifically Ford's, are equipped with airbags, which they didn't want us to use. Apart from these safety cushions, all Ford vehicles offer three-point seatbelts for a reason, for us to always use them whenever we go out and drive. However, frankly speaking, the vast majority of vehicle drivers and passengers are taking them for granted

According to a study, rear passengers are the most vulnerable vehicle occupants because, one, there are no airbags in the rear. Without seatbelts, a rear passenger may bounce around the vehicle when a collision takes place. They have the tendency to hit other passengers inside the car and injure them before getting tossed outside the window – which no one wants to happen.

Vibrations when emergency braking is normal. 

Have you ever braked so hard, say, during an emergency? We hope not. But, if you ever did, have you felt the vibration in the brake pedals, as well as the whole vehicle as it tries to bring itself to a complete stop. That, our friend, is the ABS engaging. The Anti-lock Braking System is designed to prevent the vehicle from skidding during hard braking, as it keeps the wheels from locking.

The vibration, as well as the loud motorboat sound you would hear are caused when the ABS module applies hydraulic pressure on wheels that are about to lock. Attendees had the chance to drive the Everest at a 50 km/h sprint and engage full brakes at certain distance. This gave them the exact representation of what might happen when they ever find themselves having to floor the brake pedals in emergency situations.

Mobile phones are one of the most notorious causes of road accidents. 

This was the hardest hands-on test that we've ever done during the DSFL program – we had to text as we maneuver around the course. Now, most of you have ever ridden a public transport, right? Have you ever encountered a bus, jeepney, Grab, or UV Express driver using his phone while he drives?  

From the looks of it, it's extremely dangerous. We tell you, focusing on two things isn't as easy as you think, even when you bring your phone close to your line of sight. This is because the brain, regardless of your ability to multitask, naturally finds it difficult to focus on two tasks happening at the same time. This was according to a research by the American Psychological Association. It's true, ask the cone that we almost hit as we were backing up the car, at the same time, texting the line "Ford Driving Skills For Life." 

Of course, it wasn't just the adults who enjoyed the half-day-long event. Even the kids were taught the right road etiquettes and basic lessons on safety as they drive the pedal karts around an oval course.

“The DSFL has definitely come a long way in helping promote road safety and safety driving in the Philippines, so we’re definitely inspired year after year to think of ways to improve the training program, share more relevant tips and techniques in safe driving and road safety, and extend the reach to more Filipino drivers.”

Since it was initiated in 2008, the Ford Driving Skills For Life has already trained over 22,000 Filipino drivers, together with Ford Philippines' partner Tuason Racing School. It's a great way to bond with your family and, at the same time, get educated so be sure not to miss the next one.

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