British Columbia Medical Journal Reveals Teen Driving Study Findings

British Columbia Medical Journal Suggests Age, Inexperience and Alcohol Contribute to Vehicular Fatalities

The recent issue of the British Columbia Medical Journal has found that high speed, alcohol and night driving were the most common contributing factors associated with fatalities and collisions among young drivers. The study also found that drivers in the Interior and Northern regions of British Columbia were most often involved in crashes where alcohol was a factor even though it not permitted as part of the B.C.’s Graduated Licence Program, (GLP).

Youth living in rural communities often rely on driving to get them to social activities and events, but this scenario can have fatal consequences. Many teens, despite B.C.’s legal drinking age of 19, choose to drink and then, because of their inability to find alternate transportation, get behind the wheel.  MADD Canada has suggested that the B.C. government implement strict random testing of young drivers and impound their vehicles if they violate the non-alcohol provision of their GLP condition. MADD has also suggested that drivers attitudes towards drinking and driving are much more lax in rural communities where back roads are used to avoid law enforcement, and there appears to be a more lax attitude when in comes to drinking and driving.

British Columbia Medical Journal Findings Cover Eight Years of Data

The BCMJ findings were based on data collected by the B.C. Coroner reports on drivers aged 0 to 18, from 2004 to 2012 who were fatally injured. The study found:

-There were 98 young driver/motorcyclist fatalities in B.C. between the study period, with 71.4 percent being male drivers.

– 38 percent of the fatalities involved alcohol with 86% having a blood alcohol over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the legal limit in British Columbia.

The findings by the British Columbia Medical Journal concluded that drivers in the Northern and Interior regions of British Columbia were most often involved in alcohol-related crashes. The risk of a crash was attributed to the lack of driving experience combined with the influence of alcohol, resulting in a greater risk-taking behaviour. The BCMJ study did not take into consideration distracted driving behaviours. To read the complete study and its findings, visit http://bcmj.org/articles/regional-patterns-young-driver-and-motorcyclist-collision-deaths-british-columbia-2004-2012