According to Parachute Canada (a leading safety organization), road crashes are the second-leading cause of death among young people in Canada. In Alberta, motor vehicle incidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in teens.
Teen drivers often think they’re better drivers than they actually are. They also may not understand all of the risks of driving. The chance of getting into a crash is high during a teen’s first year of driving, when they’re not with a parent or other adult.
When your teen starts to drive, there are many things you can do to help them learn to be a safe driver.
Make sure your teen:
Research shows that teen drivers have fewer crashes when parents put limits on driving. As your teen gains more driving experience, you can slowly relax these limits.
You may find it helps to have a plan with your teen that outlines driving rules, like the Checkpoints Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. This plan also outlines the major risks for teen drivers and what parents can do to lower these risks.
Having a plan and agreement helps you set expectations for driving and relax limits as your teen gets more driving experience.
In Alberta, drivers must go through the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program to get a driver’s licence. This program has 3 stages and gives new drivers the support, skills, and experience they need to drive. The program also improves road safety, which lessens the likelihood of injuries among new drivers.
The GDL program limit the highest risk conditions for new drivers. This helps them to slowly get more experience under conditions that aren’t as risky.
In 2003, the GDL program became the law for all new drivers to take part in. Since then, all new drivers must do the GDL program before they can get a driver’s licence in Alberta. Find out more about the GDL program.
Current as of: September 16, 2021
Author: Injury Prevention, Alberta Health Services
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