DAVAO CITY – Did the pandemic make you forget how to drive or have you forgotten about your car now that you’re out of work or work from home?
It’s not surprising that COVID-19 ’s ripple effect extends to driving risk as well as the disastrous effects of putting off car maintenance with less frequent driving.
Worse, now that urban mobility is on the rise owing to eased lockdown restrictions, it won’t be a surprise if roadway fatalities soon hug the newspaper headlines.
In order to refresh our motor and reflexive skills as a driver which the lockdown may have caused us to forget, Ford Philippines is bringing its Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program in Visayas and Mindanao this month as part of its commitment to create better and safer drivers on the road.
With the theme “Safe Driving in the New Normal”, this year’s DSFL will cover timely topics including pandemic car care and maintenance tips, car sanitation and disinfection, and driving techniques during the rainy weather. These are in addition to the existing DSFL training module which covers basic vehicle dynamics and handling, driving in various conditions, anti-distracted driving, and fuel-efficient driving.
This year’s DSFL sessions will be conducted virtually in order to foster a safe and physically-distant learning environment. The DSFL is back this year after its postponement in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DSFL is now on its 13th year and has trained about 26,000 drivers. The program has made itself relevant on changing road conditions, policies, and government regulations.
“We are excited to bring the DSFL back this year as we reinforce our long-standing advocacy on road safety. Now, the DSFL is made more accessible on the digital platform as we aim to reach more drivers with our safe driving training program,” shares EJ Francisco, AVP for Communications, Ford Philippines. “This year, we are making the DSFL a more relevant training program for our participants by sharing the necessary driving habits and skills as they navigate the roads in the ‘new normal’.”
Ford DSFL also discussed on how to disinfect a vehicle interior without damaging surfaces. Disinfecting a vehicle can be more difficult than cleaning because of the many types of surfaces and all of the crevices and openings.
Important to be disinfected are exterior and interior door handles, seat belt and buckle including the release button, press START button, ignition area, gear selector or shifter, hand brake lever, steering wheel and steering-wheel mounted buttons.
The training program has been a consistent recipient of awards in the country. It brought home a Gold award under the Road Safety category in the 4th Driven to Serve Awards by the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) in 2020.
Driving Skills for Life was established in the United States in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the U.S. Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts, to teach newly licensed drivers the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what is learned in standard driver education programs. (By Giovanni A. Flaviano)