Save the Date: National Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 16 to 22, 2022 with the theme of distracted driving: #DrivingTakes100

Parachute’s NTDSW is an annual campaign supported by Desjardins to build awareness of teen driver safety issues and to encourage community and youth involvement as part of the solution.

Road crashes are the third-leading cause of death among young people in Canada. Young people are killed in crashes at a higher rate than any other age group under 75 years old.

Parachute NTDSW wants to help put a stop to these preventable deaths by bringing awareness to the serious issue of distracted driving among teens. NTDSW 2022, to be held Oct. 16 to 22, will also focus on the issue of speeding, as well as drug-impaired, drunk and aggressive driving.

Join the conversation on social media, using the hashtags #DrivingTakes100 and #NTDSW2022.

Put down the phone: Don’t drive distracted

  • Drivers who text while driving are up to six times more likely to be involved in a crash. That text message can wait. Don’t text and drive.
  • When you use your cell phone, your eyes are not on the road and you miss seeing information needed to drive safely. Don’t put yourself or others at risk; keep your focus on the road.
  • The risk of a crash increases when you take your eyes and attention off the road, even just for a second. Remove the temptation by keeping your phone out of reach while driving.

Higher speeds = higher risks. Stop speeding

People choose to speed for different reasons, including the rush experienced when speeding, because they’re running late, or because they think the speed limit is too low. Here’s why speeding is a bad idea, whatever your reason:

  • Speeding is a factor in one third of teen driver deaths in Canada. Don’t risk your life just for the thrill of driving faster than the limit.
  • Teens are more likely to speed when other teens are with them in the vehicle. Don’t put the lives of your friends and loved ones at risk by speeding.
  • There’s no prize to be won for speeding – instead, the faster your speed, the more likely you are to be involved in a crash.
  • Crashes at higher speeds cause more severe injuries than crashes at lower speeds.
  • Speed kills. With each increase of 1 km/h, the risk of pedestrian fatality and serious injury during a collision increases. At 50 km/h impact, the risk of a pedestrian dying is 29 per cent: almost six times what it is at 30 km/h.
  • Speed limits are put in place for a reason: follow posted limits.
  • Open or empty roads are not an invitation to speed.
  • Adjust your speed to match the conditions of the road.
  • More than 20 per cent of deadly car crashes in Canada involve speeding. Don’t contribute to the statistic.
  • Keep your community safe. Lower your speed to protect vulnerable road users in school zones, community safety zones and construction zones.
  • Speeding is not just risky, it’s illegal. You could end up paying a fine, face criminal charges, lose your licence or go to jail.

Don’t drive high

  • Cannabis impairs your ability to drive by affecting your balance and co-ordination, motor skills, attention, judgment, reaction time and decision-making skills. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by driving high.
  • 19% of youth have said they have driven within four hours of using cannabis. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others: never drive high.
  • 35% of youth have been a passenger with a driver who used cannabis in the previous four hours. Don’t put your life at risk; never get in the car with a drug-impaired driver.
  • Driving high is never worth losing your life or putting others’ lives at risk. Make arrangements to get home safe with a friend, family member, or cab. This decision could save your life.

If you drink, don’t drive

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the third-leading cause of death among 16 to 25 year-olds, and alcohol is a factor in almost half of those crashes. It’s not worth risking your life; stay sober behind the wheel.
  • When you choose to drink and drive, you’re choosing not only to put your own life at risk, but the lives of others in danger too. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive.
  • One third of Canadians who say they’ve driven impaired do most of their drinking with close friends, partners or family members. Speak up; tell your friends and family members it isn’t cool to drink and drive.
  • Plan ahead if you or friends are planning to drink. Make sure you have a designated driver, a lift from a friend or family member, a plan to call a cab or ride service, or take public transit.
  • If you are going to drink at a remote location with limited transportation options, make a plan to get home with friends or ask your host if you can stay over. Always have a plan: never drive home impaired.

Trains move faster than you think. Stay off railway tracks.

  • A moving train may be going faster than it seems. Trains can take up to two kilometres to come to a complete stop and, unlike cars, can’t swerve to avoid a collision. Remember a train can’t avoid you but you can avoid a train.
  • Only cross railway tracks at designated crossings. Taking shortcuts and crossing anywhere else could be deadly. 
  • Never try to drive or walk around, under or over lowered or closing gates. At railway crossings, gates start closing almost immediately before the train reaches the crossing. Obey the signals, stand back and wait. 
  • Trespassing is illegal and it’s a leading factor in railway-related deaths and injuries. In 2020, 67 per cent of all rail incidents involving trespassers were fatal and over 33 per cent resulted in serious injury. Never choose a railway as a walking path or the backdrop for photos.

Teen driver safety and Vision Zero

No speeding deaths are acceptable on our roads. Strategies and policies that have proven to be effective prevention against speeding include safe street design, automated speed enforcement, and safe speed limits. Efforts such as NTDSW seek to advocate and educate in support of these evidence-based approaches.