As graduation and summer arrives, ICBC urges youth to have safe ride home

With an increase of vehicles injuries and crashes with BC youth in summer, ICBC gives tips to help teens be safe on the road.

For high school seniors, grad celebrations and one last summer of carefree fun and parties remain before they move onto the next chapter of their lives. It’s an exciting time for grads and ICBC is asking parents to make sure their teens have a plan to get home safely from all of their celebrations and parties.

On average, 97 youth are injured each month from June to August in the Southern Interior. Every day from June to August, 19 youth are injured in crashes in BC.

The number of youth killed in crashes increases by nearly 30 per cent in July and August in BC with an average of 10 youth killed. Speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving were the top contributing factors for young drivers in these fatal crashes.

Top five tips for parents:

1. Know the plan every time. Talk to your teen about all of their plans for grad celebrations and parties and how they’ll be getting home from each of them. Many grads treat themselves to a limousine – make sure it’s scheduled to drive them home. If they could end up going to multiple parties in a night, make sure they plan safe rides for that too.

2.  Backup plans. Review a few scenarios with your teen in case their safe ride home falls through so they’re prepared and discuss alternatives whether it’s transit, a taxi or calling a family member for a ride. Ask your teen to program local taxi companies’ phone numbers into their phone, look up transit information in advance and set aside money for transit or a taxi just in case.

3. Call for help. If you haven’t already, consider letting your child know that they can call you at any time if they ever need a ride. If they do call you for assistance, be supportive and consider saving your questions for the next day or at least until you’re home. If you aren’t able to pick your teen up yourself, you can always call a taxi to get them home safely.

4. Designated drivers. If your teen is going to be the designated driver, remind them that a designated driver does not drink at all and use real-life scenarios to encourage an open discussion about not allowing passengers or peer pressure to influence their choices.

5. Take a stand. If your teen will be getting a ride with a friend, remind them to ask the driver if they’ve had anything to drink before getting into the vehicle if they aren’t sure. Even if you’re confident that your child is going to make the right choices, talk to them about looking out for their friends, especially those they know are easily influenced by others. Your teen’s choices can have a significant influence on their friends and make it easier for them to take a stand too.

Learn more about ICBC’s road safety speakers who have been touring the province sharing their personal, heartbreaking stories to thousands of students to motivate them to think twice before taking risks while driving. You can also find more helpful road safety tips on icbc.com.

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