With the graduation season fast approaching, the government of Alberta released some sobering statistics that should be a stark reminder for young drivers to be safe behind the wheel. Between 2010 and 2014, there were 226 young drivers and motorcyclists killed in collisions and 12,883 who were injured across the province. These drivers were between the ages of 14 and 24 years old.
In 2014, young drivers only represented 14 per cent of all licensed drivers in Alberta, but they accounted for 20 per cent of all casualty collisions.
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Parents can give their young drivers advice on what and what not to do behind the wheel, but staying safe is ultimately up to the driver, no matter what age they are.
“Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and injury for Alberta’s youth,” Minister of Transportation Brian Mason said.“Parents and guardians need to set rules for young drivers, but at the same time, young drivers need to drive safely and take responsibility for their actions on the road.”
There are many things that young drivers can do to minimize their risks behind the wheel. Things like not texting while driving should be obvious, but there are other actions that put both the driver and others at serious risk.
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Some common errors that drivers can make include following other vehicles too closely, making a left turn in the path of an oncoming vehicle and not obeying stop signs. Additionally, one third of drivers who were killed in a collision between 2010 and 2014 were not wearing a seatbelt.
Fatalities that include young drivers most often happen in the month of September, but it’s important that young drivers follow the rules of the road, no matter the time of year.
“As the grad season approaches, we hope that students plan ahead for a safe ride home and make responsible choices,” said Arthur Lee, the provincial county liaison for Students Against Drunk Driving. “Their whole lives are ahead of them.”
For more information on these statistics, click here.