Canadian Teenagers, Especially Males, Still Over-Represented Among Driver Fatalities

Drugs, alcohol and speed are still critical factors

TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - 16 to 19-year-old fatally injured drivers, especially males, continue to be over-represented when compared with older drivers according to a new analysis of Canadian research published over the past decade.

While the review, conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) indicates a general declining trend in the number of teen drivers killed in road crashes, the problem is far from resolved - in 2010, 16 to 19-year-old drivers were still 30 per cent more likely to be killed in road crashes than drivers aged 20 and older.

TIRF's review is outlined in two fact sheets sponsored by State Farm® entitled 'Teens and Distracted Driving' and 'Trends Among Fatally Injured Teen Drivers'. The compiled data reveal further illustrative and concerning findings regarding teen driver fatalities that were initially explored in the Injury in Review Report published by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2012.

"Several factors play a role in teen driver road crashes including inexperience, peer pressure, and biological changes," says Ward Vanlaar, Vice President Research at the Traffic Injury Research Foundation. "Efforts by researchers, governments and other stakeholders to address these issues with evidence-based solutions are having positive effects, but these analyses suggest that not all teens are getting the message and continued attention to the problem is needed."

Key insights from the factsheets include:

  • Males account for 74 per cent of all teen driver (16-19) deaths on the road.
  • In 2010, more than one-third of teen drivers killed in road crashes tested positive for either alcohol (36.6 per cent) or drugs (39.2 per cent).
  • Nearly half (44 per cent) of those testing positive for alcohol had one or more passengers in the vehicle.
  • Speed was a factor in more than one-quarter (28.8 per cent) of teen driver deaths.
  • Almost one-fifth (19.4 per cent) of female teen driver fatalities were due to distraction.

"In the lead-up to what we hope will be the first officially recognized National Teen Driver Safety Week, this data further demonstrates how critical it is for parents and teens to have an open dialogue about safe driving," says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm. "By making these new resources available, and through other initiatives, TIRF and State Farm hope to encourage continued dialogue among parents and teens, educators, policy-makers and road safety professionals that can help change the tide on teen driver fatalities."

More positively, results from the 2010 Road Safety Monitor on Youth Drinking and Driving revealed that a majority of young drivers aged 16-24 are aware of these issues and concerned about them, with a majority of young drivers agreeing that distracted driving and texting while driving, as well as young drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, are serious problems.

About the Fact sheets and Infographic

The first fact sheet examines the role of distracted driving in fatalities among 16-19 year olds in Canada while the second summarizes the characteristics of fatally injured teen drivers (aged 16-19) from 2000 to 2010. The infographic was created to highlight and summarize the key findings from the fact sheets.

About TIRF

Established in 1964, TIRF's mission is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. As a national, independent, charitable road safety research institute, TIRF designs, promotes, and implements effective programs and policies, based on sound research. TIRF is a registered charity and depends on grants, contracts, and donations to provide services for the public. Visit us at www.tirf.ca, join us on Facebook www.facebook.com/tirfcanada and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/TIRFCANADA

About State Farm®

State Farm has been serving Canadians since 1938. State Farm and its affiliates are the fourth largest auto insurance provider, and the seventh largest property and casualty insurer in Canada. In addition to providing affordable car insurance rates, State Farm has more than 500 Canadian agents and 1300 employees providing insurance and financial services including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to our customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, please visit www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook www.facebook.com/statefarmcanada, follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/statefarm, or see us on YouTube www.youtube.com/statefarm.

Click here to download Teens and Distracted Driving factsheet - http://bit.ly/1bJotCe

Click here to download Trends Among Fatally Injured Teen Drivers factsheet - http://bit.ly/1aczLIA

Click here to download Teen Driver Spotlight infographic - http://bit.ly/15qsxCo

SOURCE Traffic Injury Research Foundation

For further information:

Luciana Nechita
Administrator, Marketing and Communications
Traffic Injury Research Foundation
613-238-5235 (office)
1-877-238-5235 (toll-free)
lucianan@tirf.ca

John Bordingon
Media Relations
State Farm
905-750-5567
john.bordignon.pgr8@statefarm.com