Teen Driver Safety Week – October 19-25

NTDSWThis week, we acknowledge Teen Driver Safety Week, an initiative with roots in the United States that Parachute Canada promotes throughout Canada as part of ProjectGearshift. Young drivers account for a disproportionate amount of fatalities and injuries on the road. Although drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 account for only 13% licensed drivers across Canada, they suffer 24% of fatalities and 26% of serious injuries in relation to automobile accidents.

There are many factors that contribute to these alarming statistics including, of course, the fact that young drivers are inexperienced; however there is plenty that you can do to avoid becoming a statistic:

  • Focus on the task at hand: It is easy to become distracted while driving, whether it’s friends in the car, a phone call or text message, or a beautiful view out the window, it’s important that you keep your attention focused on driving. Conversations and text messages can wait until you have arrived. If they can’t, pull over in a safe location and turn on your hazard lights if pulled over to the side of the road. A texting driver is 23 times more likely to crash than a driver who is focused.
  • Watch your speed: When you are driving, your only priority should be arriving at your destination safely. Always leave extra time for yourself to get stuck in traffic or take a construction detour so that you will not be tempted to speed if these things happen. 40% of speeding drivers in crashes on Canadian roads are between the ages of 16 and 24.
  • Drive sober: This goes without saying – if you are intoxicated by alcohol or any other substance, do not get behind the wheel. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.
  • Be alert: Driving fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. If you find yourself becoming tired behind the wheel, pull over for a bit to pick up a snack or beverage, take a nap or take a short walk.
  • Know the rules: Although we all must pass a written test before earning a driver’s license, it is important to refresh your knowledge of the rules regularly. If you are unsure about something, you can always reference your driver’s handbook. Ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the rules of the road.
  • Remember what you’re doing: Because driving is such a part of our day-to-day lives, it is easy to forget just how serious a task it really is. Remind yourself before every journey that you are propelling a large machine at speeds of 25-100 km per hour –  That’s serious business!

Have you taken our Distractions and Proactive Driver Training course? If not, this is a great opportunity to brush on on safe driving knowledge and skills. This course is recommended for all new drivers and anyone wanting to refresh their knowledge. Talk to your teacher about enrolling in this course.

For more tips on driving safely, check out these videos from our Safety and Respect video library:

Drive Safe

Drive Safe Chapter 1 – Introduction

Drive Safe Chapter 2 – Cell Phone

Drive Safe Chapter 3 – Alcohol and Drugs

Drive Safe Chapter 4 – Speeding

Drive Safe Chapter 5 – Fatigue

Drive Safe Chapter 6 – Other Driver Distractions – Part 1

Drive Safe Chapter 6 – Other Driver Distractions – Part 2

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