“It is Challenging to Inculcate Good Driving Sense in People” – S. Krishnan
Every morning we step out of the house, just praying in our heads for less commotion on the road and making it on time for work. But more often than not, we witness bad driving, violation of traffic rules and car crashes. Sadly, we’re all responsible for the awful traffic sense that was never a part of our formal school curriculum! Which is why, India records the maximum road fatalities a year that have gone up by 40% in five years.
Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) by Ford Motor Company is one such road safety awareness program that focuses on combating this epidemic of road fatalities. Introduced back in India in 2009, DSFL is a part of Ford’s corporate social responsibility that encourages old and new drivers to use effective driving tips and techniques leading to ensure safe, economic and eco- friendly driving.
Our Face of Ford is S. Krishnan, a volunteer trainer from Ford has contributed to training over 6,000 participants. He is a professional driving instructor and safety expert who started his career as an Air Force Officer and joined the Ford Academy in 2009 as a Quality Car Sales Manager. He’s currently working as the Regional Manager for Ford Assured – Ford India’s used car division since Jan 2011.
He talks about his experience as a facilitator for Ford’s DSFL program and his journey throughout:
My Journey with Ford:
My current profile at Ford is quite versatile and challenging at the same time. I currently look after the used car division for Ford India where I’m responsible for identifying and appointing existing car dealers under Ford assured. I’m also responsible for training their manpower to install the used car Quality care portal (Lead Management System) and other day to day operations. I oversee the overall operations of these dealerships and give them valuable inputs to improve their services and profitability. I conduct India safe driving workshops at various locations in the capacity of a driving instructor and safety expert and my journey has been excellent wherein I have learnt lot new things.
DSFL training as a learning experience
The training program mixes classroom learning with practical hands-on sessions and is designed based on the core tenet of educating new and older drivers on the various aspects of safe driving. The session consists of a highly interactive theory session and practical hands on training session for the participants to refresh their knowledge of responsible driving.
Each session has been a great learning experience both personally and professionally where I get to meet people from all walks of life – listening to their driving experiences, their near encounter with death and how they thanked God they’re still alive! My most memorable session was the one that I conducted in Chandigarh for the Traffic police squad where it was a different experience to undertake training with the law enforcers themselves. The police personnel were extremely receptive and admitted that they were not so conscious of their safety until they attended the session.
Safety on the road and its importance in India
At Ford, spreading the awareness around the subject of safe and responsible driving is extremely important. Through our 3 hour session of part theory and part practical, the participants in the program get useful tips who demonstrate the risks that drivers put themselves into – through videos, pictures, storyboards and slideshows.
It is quite challenging to inculcate good driving sense in people where the “concept” of responsible driving is just missing. I’ve always come across people who do understand the importance of following rules but simply shirk at thought that nothing is going to change with a handful of people following the system.
Under our current traffic law, it is very easy to acquire a driver’s license without undergoing any rigorous training or test which often results in havoc on the road. it is imperative
DSFL training sessions have been a great learning experience for me and I firmly believe that these sessions can slowly and gradually make a small difference towards better road sense among Indian drivers.
Some quick driving tips
It is very important to be vigilant on Indian roads while driving. A driver needs to be cautious of not only his safety but also of other drivers on the road and his co-passengers. The two very basic and most important safety steps to follow are a) Wearing seat belts – one of the most neglected but extremely essential safety gear that can deter the impact of a crash and save a life. b) No talking on the mobile while driving – People have a constant urge to pick up a call or read a text message the moment the phone pings. A second of distraction can result in fatal accidents.
My Escape Route
My escape route is passion to drive around and travel with my family on short breaks. When I get time from work, I like to relax at home and spend some quality time with my son.