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​Distracted driving is top factor in youth crashes in B.C.

ICBC launches road safety speaker tour

March 12, 2014


In the last five years, 34 per cent 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 ten 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,” said 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 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 and strengthen 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,” said 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.

Media are invited to presentations in the Lower Mainland, Southern Interior, North Central B.C. and on Vancouver Island.

You can find video clips of all our speakers and more details on their presentations on icbc.com. ICBC also invests in various road safety programs for students including the K-10 school curriculum and B.C.’s graduated licensing program.

Additional statistics:

  • Distracted driving (34 per cent), speeding (19 per cent) and impaired driving (nine per cent) were key contributing factors for young drivers involved in crashes resulting in injuries or death in B.C.*
  • Speeding is the leading cause of fatal crashes involving young drivers.*
  • On average, 15 youth are killed and 4,700 are injured in crashes every year in the Lower Mainland.**
  • On average, nine youth are killed and 370 are injured in crashes every year in North Central B.C.**
  • On average, 11 youth are killed and 1,100 are injured in crashes every year in B.C.’s Southern Interior.**
  • On average, six youth are killed and 940 are injured in crashes every year on Vancouver Island.**
  • On average, 39 youth are killed and 7,100 are injured in crashes every year in B.C.**

*Police data based on five year total from 2008 to 2012. Youth are defined as age 16 to 21.

**ICBC and police data based on five year average from 2008 to 2012. Youth are defined as age 16 to 21.

Media contact:
Kate Pasieka
604-240-7404