ICBC urges drivers and pedestrians to use caution in dark, fall conditions
December 5, 2012
Tragically, during the months of November and December in B.C., on average, there is an 80 per cent increase in crashes where a pedestrian is injured when compared to July and August. In the Lower Mainland, the average number of crashes where a pedestrian is injured doubles in November and December compared to July and August.*
The recent pedestrian incidents across the province serve as a strong reminder that as the weather conditions get darker and deteriorate as winter quickly approaches, we all need to be extra careful on our roads to help keep pedestrians safe.
"Public safety is always our top priority," said Mary Polak, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "We encourage drivers to slow down and use caution, especially during the winter months when it gets dark out earlier, and there could be rain or snow on the roads. If you are out walking at night, we encourage you to wear something bright or reflective to help motorists spot you."
"At this time of year, it's more important than ever for drivers to slow down and be prepared to stop for pedestrians," said John Dickinson, ICBC's director of road safety. "Pedestrians should use designated crossing points only, make eye contact with drivers and add reflective gear to clothing whenever possible. We want to help prevent these tragedies so we're urging drivers and pedestrians to use extra caution during these dark, fall weather conditions."
Here are ICBC's tips for pedestrians and drivers to help them share our roads and stay safe:
- When you approach an intersection, scan left and right for pedestrians.
- Be extra cautious and look out for pedestrians when making a left or right hand-turn.
- Always yield to pedestrians at intersections. It's the law.
- If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding for a pedestrian, so be prepared to stop.
- Be aware of pedestrians who seem unsure or who may not be paying attention. They might dart out or wander onto the roadway.
- Before you get into your vehicle, make it a habit to walk around it to make sure no small children are behind your vehicle. Always watch for pedestrians when you're backing up.
- Always focus your full attention on what's happening on the roadway so you can see, hear and respond safely when you're crossing the street. Remove your headphones, and put away your cellphone or other gadgets to make sure you're prepared for the unexpected.
- Make eye contact with drivers, so you both know you see each other. Drivers don't always see you even if you see them.
- Drivers may not always stop or obey traffic signals. Expect the unexpected.
- Use designated crossing points and follow pedestrian traffic signs and signals.
- Before stepping off the curb, look left and right for oncoming vehicles. Then look left again for vehicles that may be turning onto the roadway from beside or behind you.
- Wear bright or light-coloured clothing. In dark conditions or in bad weather, wear reflective material on your clothes (sleeves, shoes, cap or jacket).
- Where there are no sidewalks, always walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
For regional and provincial statistics on crashes involving pedestrians (including breakdown by incidents, injured pedestrians and fatal pedestrians), please refer to ICBC's "Quick statistics" document here under 'pedestrians': http://www.icbc.com/about-ICBC/fact-sheets/crashes-involving.pdf
You can also use ICBC's interactive crash map to see how many crashes involving pedestrians are happening at locations across the province.
* Every November and December in B.C., there is an average of 525 crashes where a pedestrian is injured compared to July and August when there are 290 crashes where a pedestrian is injured.
Every November and December in the Lower Mainland, there is an average of 390 crashes where a pedestrian is injured compared to July and August when there are 195 crashes where a pedestrian is injured.