BFFs wanted to help stop deaths of young adults

Parachute looking for positive peer pressure to stop distracted driving and save lives during National Teen Driver Safety Week

(Toronto), October 16, 2015 – Leading into National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), Parachute is asking young adults to use the power of friendship to impact driver behaviour and stop distracted driving.

Auto collisions are the number one killer of teens in Canada making distracted driving a major issue for young adults. While young drivers make up 13 per cent of all licensed drivers in Canada, they account for almost one in every four road-related injuries and fatalities.

In collaboration with State Farm, Parachute is taking action to raise awareness about road safety for teens during National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 19-25, 2015). This annual public awareness campaign is aimed at reducing distracted, aggressive and impaired driving – the leading cause of preventable injury and death among teens.

Over 51 per cent of young adults admit to distracted driving, although almost all are aware of its dangers. A recent Parachute poll indicates 80 per cent of young adults would speak up if they saw their friend driving distracted.

“Parachute is asking teens to recognize that they can lead their generation and be part of a movement to transform driving habits across Canada,” says Louise Logan, Parachute President and CEO. “We want teens to start talking about distracted driving and spark a positive change that ensure safer roads for everyone.”

“Friends can change the behaviour of friends who place themselves in harm’s way,” says Allie Boelsterli. Her best friend Josh Field, died as a result of distracted driving when they were teenagers. “The vast majority of them are completely preventable.” VIDEO

“What makes distracted driving and its consequences so tragic is that it is 100% avoidable,” explains John Bordignon, Media Relations State Farm Canada. “We know that young people can have a strong influence on one another. NTDSW highlights the dangers of distracted driving and hopes teens will watch out for their friends, speak up when they encounter a dangerous situation, make distracted driving socially unacceptable and become safer drivers and passengers.”

Teen Driving Behaviours

  • •Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of young adults reported they know someone who has been injured in a collision or killed as a result of distracted driving.
  • •Over 80 per cent of young adults report that they would say something if they were to see a friend using a smartphone while driving.
  • 89 per cent of young adults say they have been informed about distracted driving and are aware of the risks associated with it. The most common sources have been through media, at school, through parents and through friends.
  • 51 per cent of young adults admitted to using a smartphone while driving. 98 per cent of young adults felt that texting and driving is somewhat or very dangerous.
  • Distracted driving is a factor in up to 19 per cent of all fatal crashes involving teens.


Take Action to Support National Teen Driver Safety Week

This year, Parachute is proud to have received the support of provinces and municipalities from coast to coast for National Teen Driver Safety Week. Provinces and municipalities are engaged in a variety of ways, ranging from proclamations to communications support to community events. PROCLAMATIONS

During the week of October 19 – 25, 2015, teenagers, parents, and influencers from across Canada will be participating in NTDSW activities, programs and events across Canadian communities. Parachute is encouraging all Canadians to take part and talk to your friends about distracted driving, so you can be best friends forever.

Help us raise awareness about this campaign. Take a picture with your best friends or group of close friends and pledge on social media to make sure you will #PracticeSafeText and make sure your friends do the same. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and share the content we will be posting throughout the week.


About Parachute

Parachute is a national charity helping Canadians stop the clock on preventable injuries. The injury impact is staggering. Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of children. They cost the Canadian economy $27B a year, and worst of all, one child dies every nine hours. Through education, knowledge and empowerment, Parachute is working to save lives and create an injury-free Canada. For information, visit us at, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

- 30 -


Jennifer Gonsalves-Teixeira