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ICBC asks drivers to plan ahead for a safe holiday season​

December 19, 2013


Over the past five years, 10 people were killed and 36 were seriously injured in impaired driving related crashes in B.C. between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.*

That’s why police will continue to be out in full force at CounterAttack roadchecks across the province during the holidays.

While attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed considerably over the years, an average of 95 lives are still lost each year and impaired driving remains a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.**

Alcohol impacts a person’s judgment, reaction time, coordination and visual functions. Behind the wheel that means it affects a driver’s ability to steer, track moving objects and control speed and lane position. No amount of coffee, food or fresh air can sober up an impaired person – the only cure is time.

So tis the season for some good cheer but make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home if your festivities involve alcohol.

Here are ICBC’s tips to help everyone get home safe this holiday season.

  • It’s all in the details. You’ve planned out who you’ll go to the party with, how you’ll get there and what you’ll wear, but have you also planned how you and your friends will safely get home? Choose a designated driver before going out or keep money aside for a bus or taxi. Operation Red Nose is also available in 13 communities to help get you and your car home.
  • Is it your turn? Share the responsibility to help your friends and family get home safely - ask yourself if it’s your turn to be the designated driver.
  • Take a stand. Never get in a car with an impaired driver. Ask to get out of the car if necessary. Take a stand and don’t let your loved ones get behind the wheel impaired.
  • Be a good host. If you’re hosting a party, reward your designated drivers with some fun and easy-to-make mocktail treats, like a smooth Kootenay Koffee or a tingling Lemon Fizz. 

Regional Christmas holiday statistics (6 p.m. Dec 24 to midnight Dec 26)**

  • Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 240 people are injured in 810 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
  • Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 20 people are injured in 90 crashes in the North Central region.
  • Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 50 people are injured in 160 crashes in the Southern Interior.
  • Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 50 people are injured in 170 crashes on Vancouver Island.

Regional New Year’s Eve statistics (6 p.m. Dec 31 to midnight Jan 1)**

  • Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 120 people are injured in 420 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
  • Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 10 people are injured in 50 crashes in the North Central region.
  • Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 30 people are injured in 110 crashes in the Southern Interior.
  • Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 20 people are injured in 90 crashes on Vancouver Island.

*Fatal victim counts from police data (2008 to 2012). Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday is defined as 6 p.m. December 24 to midnight January 1 of the New Year. Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines. A seriously injured victim refers to a road user who required at least one night in hospital as a result of injuries sustained in an impaired driving related crash.

**Crashes and injured victims from ICBC data (2008 to 2012); fatal victims from police data (2008 to 2012). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

​Media contacts

Michelle Hargrave
250-979-4620

Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759