SUITED FOR DANGER
Ford Driving Skills for Life addresses the dangers of impaired driving by simulating the effects of drug use.
Viewing the world through rose-colored glasses usually implies an unyielding case of sunny optimism. But for those who adorn Ford’s new Drugged Driving Suit, the accompanying glasses—which flash shades of pink among other colors—present a bleaker picture.
That’s the intended message from the people behind Ford Driving Skills for Life, the award-winning education program that created the suit to demonstrate the dangers of driving under the influence of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin and cannabis. These substances are now responsible for approximately 18% of all motor vehicle driver deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The suit is made up of multiple pieces, including vision impairment glasses, headphones, ankle weights and padding. Each piece is meant to simulate an effect of a specific drug; the glasses, for example, are meant to mimic the colorful visual sensations and distorted perception that can stem from LSD use. While the padding around the neck and elbow is meant to slow down movement and reaction time—a side effect of most illegal drugs.
DSFL has been taking the suit on its 2016 tour, which spans 15 stops in the U.S., as well as stops overseas in Argentina, Bahrain, Finland, Oman, Poland and South Korea. You can find a full tour schedule here.
“We have already seen firsthand the eye-opening effect that our Drunk Driving Suit has had on those who wear it,” says James Graham, global program manager for Ford DSFL, “and are confident that our new Drugged Driving Suit will have a similar impact.”
To date, according to Jim Graham, Ford manager of corporate affairs, Ford DSFL has reached over 800,000 newly licensed drivers through its free hands-on safe driving clinics, school and community events, and its interactive website. By the end of 2016, the program will have trained over 1 million people in 35 countries.