Drug-impaired driving among teens is a major concern. A ten-year trend shows one in four teens who died in a motor vehicle crash tested positive for cannabis. This week, (October 15-21) is National Teen Driver Safety Week , an observance to create positive behaviour changes and to reduce injury rates among teens.
This year, the annual campaign aims to create better awareness of drugged driving and will also focus on distracted, impaired and aggressive driving urging teens to #GetHomeSafe.
Young people make up just 12 per cent of licensed drivers, but account for about 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and deaths. Here are some key messages:
Drugs And Driving Don’t Mix
One out of four teen drivers who die in a motor vehicle crash between 2000 – 2010 tested positive for cannabis. Yet, many youth do not consider driving while impaired by drugs to be risky. Some even falsely believe that using cannabis makes them better drivers.
Texting Is Like Driving Blindfolded
Research shows that texting behind the wheel is equivalent to driving with your eyes closed for almost five seconds! Reduce the temptation of texting by keeping your phone out of reach. It could save your life.
Speak Up to Stop Distracted Driving!
Multitasking behind the wheel is dangerous – stay focused on the road and ask your passengers to help you do so. Young passengers have the power of prevention: A recent survey of Canadian drivers found 96 per cent of drivers would stop driving distracted, if a passenger asked them to. Simply asking can save your life and others’.
If You Drink, Don’t Drive
Over half of teen deaths from drunk driving occur on the weekend. Impaired driving can lead to a collision that may take your life, or someone else’s. Don’t risk your safety and that of others. Plan ahead for a designated driver, taxi or family member to give you a lift.
Mind Your Speed and Stay Alive
Speed is a factor in one third of teen driver deaths. Follow the speed limit and adjust your speed to match the conditions of the road. Running late is not a reason to risk your life.
Just one wrong choice can cause a devastating collision. Young drivers need to be aware of the risks that they face on the road. This week, take the time to speak to your teen driver about these staggering statistics and encourage them to #gethomesafe.
If your teen is injured in a motor vehicle accident. Please call us. Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth and his team focus solely on accidents, personal injury and insurance claims in Ontario. We know how you feel and we can help you. You are not alone.
Teen driver safety is so very important. As Ottawa injury lawyers, we meet with families regularly who have lost a teen in an accident. Sadly, teen drivers are the most at risk drivers in our country. Inexperience, coupled with immaturity, can result in not knowing how to react or even risk taking behaviours like speeding, distracted driving, drug and alcohol use and not wearing a seatbelt. All of these behaviours can lead to an increased accident rate among teens. The Ontario Provincial Police report that teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.
National Teen Driver Safety Week aims to get the word out about safe driving to parents and teens encouraging them to start talking about the dangers. Also parents need to lead by example. Specifically, parents should talk to their teens about what is known as the “5 to Drive” or the five most common teen safety driving issues.
Speeding Drugs or alcohol
Driving and riding without a seatbelt
Using a cell phone or
Texting while driving
Talk to your teens about accidents and how to stay safe
During National Teen Driver Safety Week, our Ottawa injury lawyers urge you to take the opportunity to talk with teenagers about these issues and remind them to take a stand for safe driving even when not behind the wheel. That means speaking out if you are in a car with someone who is texting while driving, making sure not to distract the driver and calling home for a ride home if another teen driver is unsafe.
This year it is particularly important to talk to teens about distracted driving as the incidents of distraction are clearly on the rise. Approximately 16 percent of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers younger than 20*.
Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Let us all do our part to ensure that all teen drivers . Our Ottawa injury lawyers want you to #GETHOMESAFE.
*Ontario Provincial Police