ICBC speakers' stories hit home with youth

Research shows most students talk to a friend about smart driving

VANCOUVER, May 4 /CNW/ - ICBC's RoadSense Speakers have been sharing their personal, heart-wrenching stories about the impact and trauma of car crashes with high school students for over 15 years. In 2009, over 50,000 students heard a RoadSense Speaker at one of 184 high school presentations throughout the province.

In a recent study conducted by John Vavrik, psychologist, 76 per cent of B.C. students said they talked to at least one friend after hearing an ICBC RoadSense Speaker. And 40 per cent said they talked to at least one adult about the road safety message.

"Effective speakers can bridge the gap between the adolescent sense of invincibility and the tragic consequences of crashes. They can do this by being able to relate, at a personal level, to both of these realities, while also exhibiting a genuinely caring attitude toward their audiences," said John Vavrik.

RoadSense Speakers share their personal stories on how poor driving choices impacted their lives. The speakers' presentations hit home hard with powerful messages that motivate young people to think twice before taking risks while driving.

"ICBC wants to educate teens about safe driving and the power of choice," said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC road safety director. "The reality is unsafe speed and impaired driving are the top reasons why young people are dying in car crashes today."

RoadSense Speakers are currently talking to grade 11 and 12 students throughout B.C. during grad season which is typically a dangerous time for young drivers and passengers. After hearing a presentation, 30 per cent of students said they thought about the road safety message at least once while driving.

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.

For more information and helpful tips on road safety, visit www.icbc.com.

SOURCE ICBC

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Michelle Hargrave, (250) 979-4642

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