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ICBC urges parents to help teens plan ahead for grad celebrations

Car crashes are the number one preventable cause of death for youth in B.C.

May 29, 2014

On average, four youth are killed and 1,140 injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in B.C.*

With high school graduation just around the corner, ICBC is asking parents to make sure their teenagers have a plan to get home safely from all of their graduation celebrations and parties.

Here are ICBC's tips for parents to help make sure their teens get home safely:

  • Know their plan: Talk to your teen about all their plans for grad celebrations and parties and how they'll be getting home from each of them. Many grads treat themselves to a limousine – make sure it's scheduled to drive them home. If they could end up going to multiple parties in a night, they should make a plan in advance so you know they'll get home safely.

  • Plan B: Things don't always go as planned so talk to your teen about what their alternative options are to get home. Review a few scenarios with them to help guide them on how they can make smart choices – whether it's transit, a taxi or calling a family member for a ride. It's also a good idea to plan for the unexpected so consider asking your teen to program local taxi companies' phone numbers into their phone, look up transit information in advance and set aside money for transit or a taxi just in case.

  • Make it unconditional: If you haven't already, consider letting your child know that they can call you at any time if they ever need a ride. If they do call you for assistance, be supportive and consider saving your questions for the next day or at least until you're home. If you aren't able to pick your teen up yourself, you can always call a taxi to get them home safely.

  • Power of choice: If your teen is going to be a designated driver, talk to them about not letting passengers or peer pressure influence their choices and that a real designated driver is one who does not drink at all. Use real-life scenarios to talk to your teen rather than lecturing them. If they'll be getting a ride home or to another party with a friend, remind them to ask the driver if they've had anything to drink before getting into the vehicle if they aren't certain.

  • Take a stand: Even if you're confident that your child is going to make the right choices, talk to them about looking out for their friends, especially those they know are easily influenced by others. Your teen's choices can have a significant influence on their friends. For example, if they take a stand against impaired driving, they can help create a culture that recognizes making smart decisions and make it easier for others to do the same.

Throughout spring, ICBC road safety speakers have been touring the province speaking to thousands of students at more than 190 high schools about making safe driving choices ahead of graduation season. The speakers share their personal, heartbreaking stories to motivate young people to think twice before taking risks while driving.

You can find more helpful tips on

Editor's note: There are four remaining speaker tour presentations in the Lower Mainland that media are invited to attend. Please contact ICBC's Jill Blacklock at 604-868-9368 to confirm the date and time 24 hours prior.

  • May 30 at King George Secondary in Vancouver with Kevin Brooks at 1:40 p.m.

  • May 30 at GW Graham Secondary in Chilliwack with Heather Charlton at 1:20 p.m.

  • June 4 at Langley Fine Arts with Heidi Cave at 2 p.m.

  • June 6 at Hugh Boyd Secondary in Richmond with Kevin Brooks at 11:30 a.m.

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, two youth are killed and 780 injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in the Lower Mainland.

  • On average, 144 youth are injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year on Vancouver Island.

  • On average, 171 youth are injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in the Southern Interior.

  • On average, one youth is killed and 50 are injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June every year in the North Central region.

*Injury counts are based on ICBC data; fatal counts are based on police data (2008 to 2012).

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen