Date: July 16, 2019

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Teen Drivers

This page was reviewed or revised on Monday, November 13, 2017 2:41 PM

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among teens. Teen drivers are 8 times more likely to be involved in a crash during their first 6 months of being licensed than other licensed drivers.

Graduated Licensing

Graduated licensing has reduced teen crash rates by up to 40%i. Graduated licensing helps to gradually build driving skills and reduce exposure that put teens at increased risk of a crash. Understanding graduated licensing requirements and known teen risks can help parents create family rules to help keep their teen safe. Watch the MTO video series to learn more about G1 video 1, G1 video 2, G2 and full G licensing process.

Factors Increasing Teen Crash Risk

Risk Safety Strategy
Passengers - Teen crash risk increases by 2.5 times with one passenger the same age than when driving alone and 5.5 times when travelling with 2 or more passengers the same ageii. Set rules for number of passengers in a vehicle.
Night Driving - Fatal crashes are more likely at night, especially with teens. Practice night-time driving with teens and adhere to the GDL limits for night driving.
Fatigue - Drivers under age 25 are one of the most at-risk groups with respect to fatigue related crashesiii. Make sure your teen driver is rested and not driving fatigued.
Distracted driving put teens at a greater risk of a crash. Get into the habit of turning off your phone and radio before starting the ignition. Do not eat, drink, apply makeup, use your phone to call or text while driving.
Driving under the influence of drugs puts teens at a great risk of a crash. Have clear rules for driving sober. Understand side effects of medications on driving. Role model sober driving.


Early Licensing & Crash Risk

Studies have found that teens receiving a “time discount” (e.g. earlier licensing) for taking a driver education course have higher crash rates than those not receiving a time discountiv. Consider delaying G2 licensing until at least 12 months of driving experience. Ensure supervised driving in a variety of seasons and situations.

Parent Role Modelling

Parents have the most influence on their teens driving behaviour. Role modelling safe driving behaviours such as attentive driving, wearing their seat belt, sober driving and following rules of the road, can help their teens become safer drivers.

Parent-Teen Driving Agreement

Outline rules and consequences before your teen starts driving. Consider creating a written agreement on driving restrictions with your teen and milestones for when they can proceed to more advanced driving situations. Teens who have signed parent-teen driving agreements reported less high-risk driving and fewer traffic citations and crashes during their first licensed yearv.

References:

i http://tirf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/MTO-YDS-Final-Report-29_published.pdf
ii http://yndrc.tirf.ca/downloads/YNDRC_Fact_Sheet_DistractedDriving_1.pdf
iii http://www.yndrc.tirf.ca/parent_resources/index.php
iv http://tirf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/MTO-YDS-Final-Report-29_published.pdf
v https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4147835/

Resources:

Drug Impaired Driving

Impaired Driving Learning Centre - Traffic Injury Research Foundation
Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis Use and Driving - Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Parents - Keeping you teens safe

Drive it Home Teen Driving Video for parents
Parent awareness video - Minnesota Point of Impact Program
Parents are the key to safe driving - Centre for Disease Control
Parent - Teen Driving Agreement from Centre for Disease Control

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Fact Sheet - Traffic Injury Research Foundation

Teen Driving

Traffic Injury Research Foundation Young and New Driver Resource Centre
Teen Driver Resources - Parachute Horizon
Minnesota Teen Driver Parent Awareness Program
Teen Passenger Risks - AAA Foundation

Graduated Licensing

Ontario Graduated Licencing - Ministry of Transportation Ontario
Drug Impaired Driving - Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse