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The idea from Ford set to revolutionize driver safety
By Matthew Hansen • 02/08/2016
Ford pioneer 'inflatable grown ups' in pursuit of young driver safety
Despite the inroads made with cars over the last few decades, driver safety is currently as big a talking point as it's ever been.
Cars have become safer and more refined, as have roads, but likewise the amount of distractions that drivers now face has exploded. This is particularly true for younger drivers apparently maybe, with their Pokémons Go and their Snappedchats and their Justin Bieber. But luckily for us, Ford have the answer.
Following studies by Ford that revealed that young drivers are more likely to stick to the road rules when accompanied by parents or grandparents in the passenger seat, the company have unveiled their latest world-first initiative; the blow-up parent.
The tool activates when the young driver commits an illegal act behind the wheel, triggering advanced technologies that send a blow-up effigy of a parent or guardian. Scaring the young driver into fearing for their lives with their life-like features, the incentive is designed to train drivers through shock tactics about the rights and wrongs — like heaving into a dog whistle every time Fido makes a mess in the living room.
Of course absolutely none of this is close to true, but the clip aligns with a study that Ford have performed on what distracts young UK drivers aged between 18 and 24. It found that men are three times more likely than women to get distracted by attractive members of the opposite sex (commonly known as 'hottie biscottis' in industry circles). 57 per cent of drivers admitted to exceeding the speed limit at some point, 43 per cent to texting and, 36 per cent to calling.
While some of that isn't terribly surprising, it's surprising that 16 per cent of drivers studied admitted to neglecting to wear seat belts, while another 13 per cent admit to drinking and driving. A truly silly 11 per cent even conceded to having watched video and television footage while driving.
This all ties in with Ford's international Driving Skills for Life program, which aims to supplement the training young drivers all over the world already receive with an injection of tailored practical training.
Hmmm. Maybe Ford should bring the program to New Zealand?