ICBC and police warn Island drivers of challenging road conditions
With rainfall and windy weather in the forecast across
Vancouver Island this week, ICBC and police are warning drivers to be prepared
for the challenges of driving in the fall and winter on Vancouver Island and
adjust their driving to the road conditions they encounter.
Every October, there's an average of 22 crashes resulting in injuries or death due to driving too fast for the conditions on Vancouver Island. That number increases by 32 per cent to 29 in December as driving conditions worsen.*
Police and Speed Watch volunteers on Vancouver Island are looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds now and throughout November. In poor conditions, slow down, increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
"When you're driving in wet weather, slow down and increase your following distance so you have time to react to the unexpected," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Always check drivebc.ca before heading out so you're prepared for the road conditions ahead."
"Speeding is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in B.C.," said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "Seven out of ten speed-related crashes are related to driving too fast for the road conditions. That's why police are out across B.C. looking for drivers travelling too fast for the conditions."
"With the arrival of rainy weather on Vancouver Island, drivers need to slow down, increase their following distance and allow extra travel time," said John Dickinson, ICBC's director of road safety. "Be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists who are harder to see at this time of year."
Consider using your headlights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers.
Heavy rain can seriously reduce visibility and make road surfaces more difficult to stop on. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and increase your following distance to at least four seconds.
If you're travelling to other parts of the province with icy or snowy conditions, make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you may be driving in and check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.
If snow hits, consider alternatives to help you get to work safely – take transit, work from home or adjust your hours of work to avoid rush hour traffic. If you will be driving, visit drivebc.ca to check road conditions for your entire route and for possible road closures.
*ICBC data from 2009 to 2013.