Vancouver, British Columbia -- March 14, 2014 -- In the last five years, 34 percent of young drivers involved in crashes resulting in injuries or deaths were distracted.

Young female drivers are less often involved in crashes related to distracted driving, speed and impaired driving compared to young males. However, young female drivers involved in crashes were distracted nearly three times more than they sped and almost 10 times more than they drove impaired.

“Distracted driving is a serious matter and is now the second leading cause of motor vehicle fatalities on B.C. highways as well as a top factor in youth crashes,” says Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “Don’t let your memory of high school involve a tragic accident. Please put your phone away and focus on the road so that you can get to your destination safely.”

To help B.C. high school students understand the consequences of taking risks behind the wheel, ICBC kicked off its road safety speaker program today at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey, B.C. with a new road safety speaker, Heidi Cave.

“Car crashes remain the number one preventable cause of death for young people in B.C.,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “ICBC road safety speakers are reaching out to students across the province to help them understand the importance of safe driving while strengthening their decision-making skills.”

“Young drivers are less experienced, more likely to take risks and tend to be more easily distracted by passengers and electronic devices,” says John Dickinson, ICBC’s director of road safety. “These are all factors in the high rate of youth crashes on our roads. Our speakers are able to connect with teens and help them realize the life-changing consequences of taking risks while driving and think twice about it.”

For the past 17 years, ICBC road safety speakers have been sharing their stories with more than 50,000 B.C. high school students every year.

Heidi Cave will be speaking to high school students today and throughout the Lower Mainland this spring. In 1998, Heidi’s life changed when her car was struck by a reckless driver going more than 100 km/hr. Heidi’s subsequent battle for her life involved two weeks in a coma, seven months in a hospital burn unit and five months in rehabilitation. She is now a wife, mother, motivational speaker and author of Fancy Feet: Turning My Tragedy Into Hope.

To learn more about the ICBC's distracted driving campaign, please visit ICBC.com.You can see a video on the campaign in the player below. 

 

 

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