Drive Safe

Did you know?

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for youth in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotians ages 15-24 have the highest rate of death and hospitalization due to motor vehicle collisions compared to other age groups. Young males are especially at risk. Collisions in Nova Scotia cause on average 80 deaths and 636 hospitalizations per year, and youth ages 15-24 are the age group with the highest frequency.

Why are young people at higher risk?

Youth are at higher risk for two main reasons – inexperience behind the wheel and an increased amount of higher risk taking behaviour while driving compared to other age groups. For example, in the Nova Scotia Road Safety Survey, young males were the least likely to report wearing a seatbelt.

What causes motor vehicle collisions in Nova Scotia?

Fatal motor vehicle collisions are often caused by factors that are preventable. The majority of fatalities on Nova Scotia roads are related to speeding, alcohol or drug impairment, distraction, and failure to wear a seatbelt. In 2012, these factors contributed to the following percentage of fatal crashes:

Speed
29%
Alcohol impairment
23%
Failure to use a seatbelt
21%
Drug impairment
20%
Distraction
14%
Data Source: Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
From 2007-2013: Among youth ages 16-19 who died in a motor vehicle collision, 38% were unbelted. Among youth ages 20-24 who died in a motor vehicle collision, 46% were unbelted.

What can we do about it?

The good news is that crashes are preventable. It will take the effort of all Nova Scotians to make our streets safer for all road users include motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. All road users have a responsibility to obey the rules of the road including not driving while impaired, fatigued, or distracted. For young and new drivers:

  • As a new driver, comply with the Graduated Driver Licensing program under Nova Scotia law.
  • Never drive after using alcohol or drugs. New drivers must have a 0 Blood Alcohol Content at all times while in the Graduated Drivers Licence program (GDL), including for the two years after completing the newly licenced phase.
  • If you suspect a driver is impaired, call 911.
  • Put away your phone and avoid any other distractions. Remember that your passengers can be one of your biggest distractions!
  • Drive the speed limit, and adjust your speed for the road and weather conditions.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times, even if it’s just a short trip down the road.