Graduation student in Ottawa
It’s graduation season. There will be ceremonies, house parties and a host of other celebrations honouring great accomplishments. There will also be drinking, partying, distracted driving and other risks and dangers that can turn a night of celebration into a tragedy. Let’s make this is a season to remember or all of the right reasons.
Teenagers are the most at-risk group of drivers on the road today especially when it comes to drinking and driving. When you factor in distracted driving, speeding, lack of seat belt use and extra passengers, graduation season becomes very risky. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada (MADD Canada).
• Young people have the highest rates of traffic death and injury per capita among
all age groups and the highest death rate per kilometer driven among all drivers
under 75 years of age. More 19-year-olds die or are seriously injured than any
other age group.
• Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16 to 25 year olds,
and alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in 55% of those crashes.
• 16-25 year olds constituted 13.6% of the population in 2010, but made up almost
33.4% of the impairment-related traffic deaths – MADD CANADA.
Graduation time? time to talk about safety
Before your graduate heads out this prom season, please take some time to talk openly about safety.
Drinking and driving is never an option. Peer pressure can sometimes be hard, especially at a time of celebration. Remind your teen that even one drink is not acceptable if they are planning to drive. Promise them that you will pick them up anytime of the night, no questions asked and give them a backup plan with an aunt, uncle or neighbour to call if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.
Graduation and distracted driving
Distracted driving has become an epidemic for teen drivers. In 2013, almost half of all of the people killed in distraction-affected crashes were teen agers – Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). By now, all kids have been exposed to the dangers of distracted driving. During grad season encourage your teen to leave the phone in the back seat of the car or in the glove box to avoid the temptation to call or text while on the road. If they use their phones for music or GPS, have them set their navigation or playlists before they drive off.
Driving while drowsy is most defiantly a form of impairment. In fact, driving while being awake for more than 18 hours, is similar to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 per cent. Many teens are less aware of the dangers of drowsy driving. Late nights studying and celebrating can make your teen sleep deprived and they may not notice. Remind your teen of the danger and remind them that your top priority is that they get
Teen driving safety starts with you. As a parent, it is important to set a good driving example at all times and to have open conversations with your teen, especially during graduation and prom season.