October 5, 2016
Whether travelling across town or across the province for Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends this long weekend, ICBC is urging drivers to keep your eyes on the road, and not be distracted by the fall colours of B.C.'s landscape.
In 2015, two people were killed and 600 people were hurt in 2,100 crashes in B.C. during the Thanksgiving weekend.*
Here are ICBC's key tips to help drivers stay safe this long weekend:
Prepare your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the fall. Don't drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires. Keep the wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility.
Know your route. Since weather is unpredictable at this time of the year, plan ahead to make your trip as safe as possible. Check roads and weather before your trip at drivebc.ca or toll-free 1-800-550-4997. With more holiday weekend traffic, allow extra time to get to your destination.
Slow down. Posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet and slippery roads or on roads covered in leaves. Avoid driving through flooded or washed out roads.
Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. With shorter days and reduced visibility, pay extra attention for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
Leave your phone alone. No call or text is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your notifications while in traffic. Remember using a phone at a stop light is prohibited. If you have to take a call, pull over when it's safe to do so; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief. Make sure you're focused on driving before re-entering traffic.
Check if you need winter tires. From October 1 to March 31, drivers are required to use winter tires on some B.C. highways. Winter tires are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation.
Last year, 450 people were injured in 1,300 crashes in the Lower Mainland over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Last year, 80 people were injured in 280 crashes on Vancouver Island over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Last year, 49 people were injured in 320 crashes in the Southern Interior over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Last year, 22 people were injured in 150 crashes in North Central B.C. over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Note: *Thanksgiving weekend crashes are calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday. Fatality data is police data and crash and injury data is ICBC data from 2015.