Motor Vehicle Safety

Injury Prevention & Safety

Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of unintentional injury for youth in Alberta. Crash rates are especially high during the first year of unsupervised driving. Studies have found that teenagers have fewer accidents when there are rules about driving on their own that become less strict as they gain more experience.

When teenagers get their driver's licenses and start driving, they encounter various traffic situations. They need to make a number of driving decisions, but their ability to assess risks and future consequences is not fully developed. To prevent dangerous risk-taking and injuries, it is essential that youth learn to manage driving risks slowly and practice making safe choices.  Adults can help teenagers learn how to manage risk by letting them try new skills and making sure they understand how to stay safe. Parents are role models for teen passengers in their vehicle.

Key Messages

Take these important safety precautions every time you drive:

  • Always wear a seat belt. They save lives and prevent injuries.
  • Be in complete control when driving, with no drugs or alcohol in your system.
  • Focus only on driving and don’t do anything else. Alberta's distracted driving law tells drivers not to do things such as text, read, or use hand-held cell phones while driving.
  • Manage your speed; follow speed limits.
  • The Parent Teen Driving Agreement is a great tool to help create a dialogue and keep teens accountable to their parents.
  • Teen Risk-Taking – tips for parents can help you find ways to talk to your teen about a variety of risky situations they might face