Vancouver, British Columbia – While it’s an exciting time of year for high school grads, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)  is reminding graduates to celebrate safely by planning ahead and making smart decisions. Here are ICBC’s top five smart driving tips for getting home safely this grad season:

No. 1 – Plan ahead: Arrange for a safe way home. Make plans to have a designated driver. Treat yourself to a limousine or take a taxi, public transit or call a friend or family member for a ride home. On average, 1,400 youth in B.C. are injured and 11 are killed during the months of May and June every year.*

No. 2 – Impairment starts with the first drink, not after you’ve had a few. The risk of crashing increases with each alcoholic drink. By the time you reach .02 you’ll have difficulty attending to more than one task and maintaining your attention and alertness.

No. 3 – Buckle up: If you don’t wear your seatbelt, you are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash if ejected from the vehicle. In a 50 km/h head-on crash, a 150-pound adult not wearing a seatbelt will collide with other occupants, strike the inside of the vehicle or get thrown from the car with the same force as the weight of a 3 1/2-ton truck.

No. 4 – Don’t give in to peer pressure: Never get in a vehicle with an impaired driver. If you’re the designated driver for the night, don’t let your passengers influence your driving behaviour.

No. 5 – Be responsible and make smart driving decisions: Your smart decisions can have a significant influence on others. So set an example, whether you’re a driver or passenger. Take a stand and don’t let people drive if they are drinking alcohol. We all have the power of making smart decisions.

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 .

    * Statistics are based on 2004 to 2008 ICBC and police data. Injuries
    are rounded to the nearest hundred and taken from ICBC data. Fatal counts
    are unrounded and taken from police data. Youth are defined as road users
    age 16 to 21 and include drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

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