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AHS urges teen drivers to pay attention behind the wheel

Alberta Health Services is reminding teens to keep their focus on the road while driving.

Alberta Health Services is reminding teens to keep their focus on the road while driving.

In a release, AHS announced its support for Parachute’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. Parachute was founded in 2012 through the amalgamation of four charities in the injury prevention field. The Canadian organization provides education in preventing serious injury in homes, in sports and recreation, and on the roads.

According to Parachute, road crashes are the third-leading cause of death among young people in Canada. In 2020, transportation-related injuries were the third-leading cause for emergency departments and urgent care centre visits among youth, ages 15-19, in Alberta.

The theme for this year’s week is distracted driving.

-Visual distraction: When a driver’s eyes leave the roadway.

-Manual distraction: When a driver’s hands leave the steering wheel.

-Cognitive distraction: When a driver’s mind is no longer on the task at hand.

-Actions — such as texting or calling while driving, talking to friends in the car, switching songs, or eating and drinking — that take a driver away from the task at hand and increase the risk of accidents and injuries on the road.

In order to avoid distracted driving teens should:

-Turn phone off or use the “do not disturb” feature while driving.

-Give your phone to a friend.

-Park safely before checking your phone or making a call.

Parents can also set good examples for their children and teens by keeping their cell phones out of reach when driving.

In addition to avoiding distracted driving, it’s also important to remember speeding, sleep deprivation, as well as drug and alcohol-impaired and aggressive driving, can increase the risk of crashes and injuries on the road.

National Teen Driver Safety Week runs Oct. 16-22.