ICBC reminds parents to help make sure their grads get home safely

VANCOUVER, June 14, 2011 /CNW/ - As young people are now busy getting ready to celebrate a very important milestone in their lives - high school graduation, ICBC is reminding parents they can help their graduates celebrate safely by making sure they plan ahead and make smart decisions.

Since this spring, eight ICBC road safety speakers have been touring the province speaking to more than 52,000 students at 183 high schools about the importance of making smart driving decisions and the power of choice. The speakers share their personal heart-wrenching and tragic stories to motivate young people to think twice before taking risks while driving.

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

No. 1 - Know their plan: Does your teen and friends have a designated driver planned for their entire evening? Many grads will treat themselves to a limousine ride, but make sure they plan ahead for a safe ride home if they'll be going to any other celebrations or if the limousine isn't scheduled to drive them home.

No. 2 - Have a plan B: We all know that things don't always go as planned, so talk to them about the importance of expecting the unexpected and make sure they know how to identify alternate options for getting home safely. Ask them to think twice before taking any risks on the road and remind them that they have the power to make the smart decision. Review a few scenarios with them to help guide them on how they can make smart decisions.

No. 3 - Make it unconditional: If you haven't already, consider letting your child know that they have the unconditional option of calling you at any time if they 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 at home. If you can't pick them up yourself, you can always have them return home safely by a taxi.

No. 4 - Power of choice: Talk with your teen about driving behaviours and how they have the power to make smart driving decisions. Be supportive and consider engaging them in a dialogue using scenarios or real-life examples rather than lecturing them. If they're a designated driver, talk to them about not letting passengers or peer pressure influence their driving behaviours.

No. 5 - Power of influence: Remind your teen that their smart driving decisions can have a significant influence on their friends. For instance, if they take a stand against impaired driving they can help create a culture that focuses on making smart decisions. Even if you're confident 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. And don't forget, you also set an example for them every day with your own driving behaviours.

ICBC is committed to working with youth, parents, educators and community groups to help reduce crashes, identify the risks of the road and provide young drivers with strong decision-making skills.

You can find more on road safety, including helpful tips for young drivers on icbc.com.

Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/icbc.

SOURCE ICBC

For further information:

Media contacts:  Adam Grossman, 604-982-1332

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ICBC

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Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

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