Novice drivers in British Colombia’s graduated licensing program are one and a half times more likely to crash than experienced drivers, according to the Insurance Corporation of British Colombia (ICBC).

To help high school students make safer driving choices ahead of graduation season, road safety speakers are travelling throughout northern B.C. to share their personal stories.

One of the road safety speakers is Tiana Tozer, whose life changed at 20 years old when she was injured in a crash with an impaired driver. She draws from her experience as a two-time USA Paralympic medalist and humanitarian worker in Iraq to motivate youth to make positive choices and become leaders.

“These presentations open up conversations with teens about situations they may face and support them in making smart choices for their future,” said Shabnem Afzal, ICBC’s Director of Road Safety.

“Car crashes have a devastating impact on our communities. Our road safety speaker tour is one way we’re working to help youth develop strong decision-making skills, prevent crashes and save lives.”

​​According to the ICBC, the top contributing factors for youth in fatal crashes are speeding (36 per cent), distracted driving (23 per cent) and impaired driving (20 per cent).

While young male drivers are reported to be involved in crashes almost three times more often than young female drivers, particularly when speed or impairment is involved.

The organisation said that 19 per cent of drivers speeding in crashes resulting in injury or death were 16 to 21 years old. Yet these young drivers make up only six per cent of all licensed B.C. drivers.​

Last year, ICBC launched a free driving simulation app, Street Sense, to help new drivers recognize and avoid hazards while driving in a safe, online environment.