Concerns rise over distracted driving and teen safety

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TORONTO – National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), an annual public awareness campaign aimed at educating young drivers about road safety, is taking place October 16-22. This year, Parachute and State Farm are calling on teens to help reduce distracted and drug impaired driving and#GetHomeSafe.

A new Parachute poll, which for the first time includes Canadian transgender youth (aged 16-24), finds 39% of young drivers admit they text behind the wheel and an alarming 71% don’t consider using their phones while driving to be very distracting. Distracted driving is a factor in up to 19% of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

“It’s concerning that while many teens are still choosing to use their phones while driving when research shows that texting behind the wheel is the same as driving with your eyes closed for five seconds,” says Pamela Fuselli, Parachute Interim CEO. “We’re asking all teens to make a pledge to #GetHomeSafe and commit to safer driving practices.”

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Educating teens about drug impaired driving is also a focus of this year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. One in four teen drivers who died in a crash between 2000- 2010 tested positive for cannabis yet many youth don’t consider drugged driving high risk.

“It’s imperative that while driving you remain focused and attentive, avoid distractions and refrain from drugs and alcohol. This is for your own safety and that of passengers, other motorists and pedestrians,” explains John Bordignon, Media Relations State Farm Canada. “We know various prescription drugs and marijuana impair judgment and reaction time. With legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use imminent safeguards need to be in place to discourage teenagers and drivers of all ages from getting behind the wheel while they are influenced by it. Road safety must be a clear priority.”

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For a full look at the Parachute poll involving young Canadian drivers and a new drug-impaired driving infographic visit

Take Action to Support National Teen Driver Safety Week
In honour of NTDSW, Parachute and its partners premiered Choices, a new interactive film where participants can pledge to #GetHomeSafe and help end texting and driving.

This year, Parachute is proud to have received the support of provinces and municipalities from coast to coast for National Teen Driver Safety Week. Provinces and municipalities are engaged in a variety of ways, ranging from proclamations to communications support to community events.

During the week of October 16-22, 2016, teens, parents, and influencers will be participating in NTDSW activities across Canadian communities, including Parachute’s positive ticketing activity, which promotes, encourages and rewards good driving habits among teens.

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Help us raise awareness about this campaign. Take a picture with yourself or with a group of close friends and pledge on social media to make sure you will #GetHomeSafe and make sure your friends do the same.

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. – CNW

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