News & Press Releases

  27  FEBRUARY 2008:  Ford Fund challenges Nashville teens to create safety campaigns
  • Nashville high schools compete to develop most creative driving safety personal service announcements (PSA) to combat the leading cause of youth deaths, motor vehicle crashes.
  • Winning school will be announced live during season finale of American Idol in May.
  • Competition launches February 11, 2008.
  • Ford Motor Company Fund and Governors Highway Safety Association lead unique public/private partnership in Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program.

DEARBORN, Michigan ? Ford and the Governors Highway Safety Association are taking the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program to Tennessee for the second consecutive year with the launch of a public service announcement (PSA) competition among Nashville-area high schools kicking off this week. The competition was created as a platform for teens to raise awareness of the dangers of driving irresponsibly to their peers to help address the leading cause of youth deaths, motor vehicle crashes.

High school students are invited to create teams at their schools, register their participation at Fox, or, and begin their productions. All PSA entries must be submitted by April 25th. The top four entries will appear on all three TV stations? web sites where students and the public can vote for their favorite. The top three teams will win prize packages, which include monetary awards to continue safe driving programs at their schools, while the winner will earn an opportunity to showcase their PSA on Fox 17?s Tennessee Mornings show. In addition, the winning commercial will air during the season finale of American Idol and on all three TV stations throughout June, 2008 as teen driving increases for prom season and summer break.

"Ford is committed to building safe vehicles and educating the public about key issues such as teen driving safety," said Jim Graham, community relations manager for Ford Fund who directs the program. "Ford?s Driving Skills for Life program in Nashville is a perfect example because we work with teens to develop and communicate this important message themselves. The program strengthens Ford?s already great community relationship in Nashville, including sponsorships of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ford PAS, Ford?s high school education curriculum, and the support of many other community initiatives and organizations."

The Driving Skills for Life PSA competition is a collaborative effort between Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, Westfield Insurance, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Fox17, MyTV30 and CW58.

Jim Clay, President of Westfield Insurance adds, "Safe driving is everyone's responsibility. We see a growing need for collaboration between parents, law enforcement, advocacy organizations and corporate partners. We're proud to be a part of this diverse program for young drivers."

"The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is excited to partner with the Ford Driving Skills for Life program and Tennessee teenagers to help promote safe driving skills for teens," said THP Colonel Mike Walker. "The THP is committed to doing everything we can to educate and train young people on avoiding dangerous driving behaviors so we don't lose our best and brightest before their prime."

"We are very proud to be working with Ford on their Driving Skills For Life campaign," said Kevin B. Churchwell, M.D., chief executive officer for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children?s Hospital at Vanderbilt. "Ford is a great civic partner for our community and by working together, we can save lives ensuring that all children are safe and healthy."

Nationally, motor vehicle crashes are the single leading cause of deaths in 2006 for young adults between the ages of 15-20. While making up only 6 percent of the population, youths were driving in 16 percent of all accidents, including 13 percent of all fatal crashes. In 2007, 160* teens lost their lives due to vehicle crashes in Tennessee alone.

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Indian Nation. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202.789.0942 or visit

In business for 160 years, Westfield Insurance provides commercial and personal insurance in 18 states and surety services to customers in 28 states. Westfield is one of the nation?s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups, represented by a network of over 1,200 independent insurance agencies. Westfield puts words into actions by supporting nonprofit organizations and choosing sponsorships that make a difference in the communities where we work and live. These efforts help us achieve business success in ways that honor our values and respect for people. Learn more about Westfield Insurance at

The Tennessee Department of Safety?s mission is ( to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is a leading provider of pediatric care, ranked 23rd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Living by the principle of "family-centered care," Children's Hospital provides top-level care while including the family as an essential element of a child's treatment plan. Children?s Hospital is a place to hope and a place to heal for patients and their families. Constructed in 2004, the freestanding children?s hospital is filled with state-of-the-art equipment and information systems to provide the best treatment for patients and offers a variety of family accommodations to help fulfill its mission. With 222 beds dedicated to high-level pediatric, subspecialty treatment, and trauma care the hospital is also a teaching and research facility, training many of the future?s top pediatric physicians. In addition, research conducted here is helping to shape the way the nation cares for children. Children's Hospital features Centers of Excellence for the treatment of diabetes and congenital heart disorders and offers services for cancer care, organ and bone marrow transplants, level 4 neonatal intensive care, level 1 pediatric trauma care, treatment for developmental disorders, healing broken bones and everything in between.

*preliminary data provided by the TN Dept of Safety - Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 6 Feb 2008.

Gary Christy
800.243.0210, extension 6640

Terri Grimm

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