Here are the biggest dangers facing young drivers this National Teen Driver Safety Week

Published: October 25, 2018

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As we reported yesterday, Parachute Canada’s National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) 2018 is ongoing throughout this week. Running from Oct. 22 to Oct. 28, NTDSW is putting focus on several hot topics around road safety. Events around the country will be oriented towards impaired, drugged, distracted, and speeding/aggressive driving.

In an accompanying press release to announce this year’s event, Parachute Canada highlighted why each of the focus points is so important.

Starting with drug impaired driving, Parachute says young drivers often don’t understand the risks of driving high. With recreational marijuana now legal, drug impairment is a hot topic.

  • One out of four young drivers in Canada who died in a motor vehicle crash between 2000 and 2010 tested positive for cannabis.4 Don’t gamble with your life.
  • Drugs, whether prescription, over-the-counter or illegal, can slow drivers’ reaction times as well as their attention to the task of driving.5 Know the facts and don’t drive high.
  • Your motor skills decrease, and reaction times increase when you drive drug-impaired. You are more likely to crash and hurt or kill someone else. Drive sober or make other arrangements to get home.
  • Know that police can detect drugged driving. Don’t risk losing your licence or going to jail.

Impaired Driving

While drug driving is in the public eye at the moment, and distracted driving is the leading killer on Canada’s roads, impaired driving remains an issue. A decades long fight against alcohol is ongoing and teen drivers are amongst the most likely to drive while drunk.

  • Alcohol is a factor in just under one third of young driver crashes in Canada.6
  • Young drivers aged 20 to 34 were more likely to have been drinking than any other age group of drivers killed in a collision between 2000 and 2014.7
  • In 2012, half of 16 to 19-year-old drivers killed in crashes after drinking had one or more passengers in their car.
  • Plan ahead for a designated driver, public transit, taxi, a lift from a family member, or to stay the night at a trusted friend’s house.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is arguably the biggest problem on Canada’s roads. Studies have shown drivers understand the risks and penalties but continue to use devices behind the wheel regardless. While there is some evidence to show millennials are most likely to combat distracted driving, young motorists are also the most connected to their devices.

  • Almost half of drivers aged 18 to 34 report using a cell phone while driving.9
  • Multitasking behind the wheel is dangerous – stay focused on the road.
  • Passengers, you can handle the directions, radio and phones. Ask the driver to focus solely on the road. The reminder may save both your lives.
  • Drivers, reduce the temptation of texting by keeping your phone out of reach. That could save your life.
  • Use a distracted-driving prevention app to auto-respond to calls and texts, so you can focus on the road and respond after you reach your destination.