Rebecca Bernard
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Ford and Effat University Put Saudi Women Behind The Wheel

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Ford DSFL For HerWhen the Ford Motor Company heard that women in Saudi Arabia would finally be able to drive this June, it knew that this population would need a lot of training and practice to navigate traffic safely. That’s why the American automaker is teaming up with Effat University in Jeddah to teach a special driver’s training event called Ford Driving Skills For Life For Her on March 5th-8th.

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If that name sounds like a mouthful but also familiar, it’s because Ford runs the Ford Driving Skills for Life program here in the US for younger drivers. In Saudi Arabia the concept has been adapted for adult drivers as a way to help women attendees of all ages become more comfortable behind the wheel. Certified trainers will lead women preparing to earn their drivers licenses through a closed course to make the experience as stress-free and educational as possible. There will be four different types of modules incorporated into the training: distracted driving, braking strategies, impaired drivers, and general vehicle information.

“Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress, so we are honored to have the opportunity to support women in the Kingdom during such an extraordinary time, and to welcome them to the driver’s seat,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our Driving Skills for Life for Her program provides access to training and experiences that will help women feel safe and confident as they get behind the wheel.”

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Ford estimates that more than 250 Effat University women will take part in the program. It also has plans to expand the program throughout the country, with the second phase kicking off later in 2018, presumably after women are able to get their licenses.