Could Inflatable “Blown Ups” keep young drivers safe?

August 5, 2016

If you’re aged 18-24 and have been distracted by your smartphone or even a good-looking pedestrian while driving, then you’re not alone.

We asked young people across Europe about their driving habits and found 43 per cent have texted, 36 per cent have taken phone calls and 11 per cent have watched mobile videos at the wheel.

And young drivers in the UK are the most likely to take their eyes off the road when they spot a hunk or honey – 57 per cent admitted being distracted by attractive passers-by.

People aged 18-24 are almost twice as likely to be killed on the roads as the average person, and the problem gets even worse during the summer when road trips, festivals, and the beach beckon. Our survey showed 68 per cent of young people across Europe feel more relaxed about their driving in summer.


However, more than half of young drivers also told us they drive more safely with parents or grandparents in the car, which inspired us to create a spoof video for “Blown Ups” – inflatable grown-ups that pop up to remind young drivers to focus on the road.

We don’t expect Blown Ups to catch on anytime soon, but our free training for young drivers with Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) will have helped more than 20,000 drivers across 13 countries in Europe by the end of 2016.

Classes cover everything from hazard recognition and vehicle handling to the risks posed by drink or drug driving and taking selfies.

“Summer is a great time to enjoy the freedom of driving, which is as much a part of being young today as it was for previous generations. But too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making,” said Jim Graham, manager, Ford DSFL.