Texting behind the wheel is equivalent to driving blindfolded for almost five seconds. Peel Regional Police is partnering with Parachute for National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), which takes place October 16-22, to create positive behaviour changes to reduce injury rates among teens.
Parachute National Teen Driver Safety Week is an annual public awareness campaign and this year, distracted driving is the primary focus; distracted driving is a factor in 15-19% of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
Imagine driving the length of three football fields at a speed of 50 km/hr while not paying attention. It would last about 27 seconds, which is how long mental distraction can linger after using voice commands on a hands free device. Peel Regional Police and Parachute are calling on all 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,” says Inspector Paul Pogue, Peel Regional Police Road Safety Services. “Through NTDSW and community initiatives like National Teen Driver Safety Week, we are working to raise awareness about the devastating effects of distracted driving while encouraging young drivers to stay focused on the road.”
“We often equate distracted driving with using hand-held devices, but our phones aren’t the only distractions behind the wheel,” says Louise Logan, Parachute President and CEO. “Some drivers are distracted by unconventional activities like changing their clothes. We want young passengers to help curb distractions by speaking up. Doing so can help save your life and the lives of others.”
While eliminating distractions is a key priority, drug-impaired driving is also a concern. A ten-year trend shows one in four Canadian young drivers who died in a motor vehicle crash tested positive for cannabis.