Parachute and HPEPH urges teens to #GetHomeSafe and help save lives | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Parachute and HPEPH urges teens to #GetHomeSafe and help save lives

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/October 16, 2017 – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and Parachute are calling on all teens to #GetHomeSafe.

Teen driver safety is a major concern.  In Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, 15 to 24 year olds have the highest rate of injury, hospitalization, and death due to motor vehicle crashes. The good news is that these tragedies are preventable. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is participating in National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), which takes place October 15 to 21.

“Through NTDSW, we are encouraging young drivers, their parents, and schools to join the conversation and help develop positive driving behaviours, so that every teen driver can #GetHomeSafe,” says Jessica DeMars, Health Promoter.

This year, the primary focus locally is on distracted driving, however, messaging to teens will also address impaired and aggressive driving, including speeding.

Some key facts:

  • A driver using their cell phone is 4X more likely to crash and a texting driver is 23X more likely to crash
  • According to a recent survey, 96 percent of Canadian drivers would stop driving distracted, if a passenger asked them to
  • Some teens believe using cannabis would make them a better driver – This is false!
  • Speeding is a factor in one-third of teen driver deaths
  • More than half of teen deaths from drunk driving occur on the weekends

In collaboration with local police services, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is providing information packages to local high schools with ideas for engaging and empowering youth to prevent risky behaviour whether they are a driver or a passenger.  “Together with support from our community partners, parents, and teens, we will work towards having an impact on teen driver safety and help to ensure our teens live a long life to the fullest,” says DeMars.

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As a parent:

  • You can be a positive role model - your teen driver is watching and learning from you.
  • You can talk to your teen about being a safe driver and passenger even before they reach driving age.
  • When your teen does start driving, make sure you commit to a common set of rules. Together set clear expectations and emphasize to your teen that driving is a privilege and not a right.
  • Be sure to check out the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website to understand the rules that apply to new drivers.

As drivers and passengers:

  • Reduce the temptation of texting by placing your phone on silent, turning it off, or keeping it out of reach
  • If you see the driver reaching for their phone, speak up. You can offer to call, text, or read the directions for the driver.
  • Before driving, take a moment to think about loved ones that are counting on you to get home safely.

To learn more on how young drivers can #GetHomeSafe visit parachutecanada.org/ntdsw .

Media Contact:
Jessica DeMars, Health Promoter
613-966-5500 ext. 268
jdemars@hpeph.ca

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 parachutecanada.org, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.