Calling on teen drivers to prevent drugged driving and save lives

Parachute’s National Teen Driver Safety Week wants teens to #GetHomeSafe

TORONTO, October 16, 2017 – National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), an annual public awareness campaign aimed at educating young drivers about road safety, is taking place October 15-21. This year, Parachute and State Farm Canada are calling on teens to help reduce drugged driving and #GetHomeSafe.

One in four drivers aged 16-24 who died in a crash between 2000-2010 tested positive for cannabis - yet many youth don’t consider drugged driving to be high risk. Some teens even mistakenly believe using cannabis would make them a better driver. Educating teens about distracted, impaired and aggressive driving – including speeding – is also part of this year’s NTDSW campaign.

“While young people make up 12 per cent of drivers, they account for approximately 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and fatalities,” says Steve Podborski, Parachute President and CEO. “It’s critical that we empower teens with the knowledge of how the right choices can prevent collisions, suffering and heartbreak.”

“The consequences of impaired driving can be devastating. The Government of Canada takes road safety seriously, and we’re creating stronger laws and providing new tools to combat drug-impaired driving,” says the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “This National Teen Driver Safety Week, we encourage parents and teens to speak about the dangers of driving under the influence, and how we can all play a role to keep our roads and communities safe‎.”

“Auto collisions are the No. 1 killer of teenagers in Canada: drug-impaired driving is an increasing factor in teen deaths with the tragic part being that it can be completed avoided,” says John Bordignon, Media Relations at State Farm Canada. “Our recent survey found that half of respondents who admitted to smoking cannabis and driving believe it does not adversely impact their ability to drive safely, while another 20 percent admitted to driving while under the influence of a prescription drug or opioid. This proves continued education and awareness are needed. NTDSW is essential to showcasing the importance of auto safety while helping teens drive sober, avoid distractions and stay alive while using our roads.”

During the week of October 15-21, 2017, teens, parents and influencers will be participating in NTDSW activities across Canadian communities, including Parking Lot Chalk Makeovers and a Positive Ticketing Activity which promotes, encourages and rewards good driving habits among teens.

With their partners at State Farm Canada, Parachute has launched the Parachute Vision Zero Network, with one simple goal: the elimination of fatalities on Canadian roads through collaboration. Parachute is also hosting its second annual Vision Zero Summit during NTDSW, to update hundreds of its road safety partners on the implementation of Vision Zero across Canada.

About Parachute

Parachute is a national charity helping Canadians stop the clock on preventable injuries. The injury impact is staggering. Preventable injuries are the No. 1 killer of children. They cost the Canadian economy $27 billion a year. 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 http://www.parachutecanada.org, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

About State Farm Canada

In January 2015, State Farm’s Canadian operations were purchased by Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With its 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm Canada division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit https://www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

 

                                                             - 30 -

 

Media contact:

Kelley Teahen, Director, Communications & Marketing, Parachute

647-776-5128

media@parachutecanada.org