ICBC & police warning of challenges northern B.C. drivers are facing this fall
November 1, 2016
In northern B.C., serious crashes involving injury or death due to driving too fast for the conditions more than doubles as the weather worsens throughout fall.
That's why ICBC and police are appealing to northern B.C. drivers to adjust their driving for the road conditions they encounter. In poor weather, slow down, increase your following distance and allow extra travel time. Slowing down – especially as you approach intersections – gives you more time to react to pedestrians and other road users who are harder to see at this time of year.
Throughout November, police across B.C. are looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds.
Top five challenges for northern B.C. drivers this fall:
Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly so make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you'll be driving in this winter. Check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.
When severe winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives – take public transit if possible, carpool with a confident driver whose vehicle is equipped for the conditions, take a taxi, work from home or wait until the road crews have cleared major roads. Sometimes the best option is to leave the car at home.
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. Keep in mind that daytime running lights usually don't activate your taillights too.
Clear off any snow that's built up on your vehicle's headlights and wheel wells before driving; it can affect your ability to see and steer.
In poor weather, use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance vehicles on the road and never pass on the right. Be patient and maintain a safe following distance – these vehicles throw up snow and spray which can make it difficult to see. If you notice a vehicle stopped on the side of the road with flashing red, blue or yellow lights, you're required to slow down and move over.
For detailed tips on how to drive in winter weather, visit icbc.com or read the mobile-friendly Learn to Drive Smart guide.
"As the weather gets darker earlier and conditions worsen, it's really important that drivers remember to adjust their speed and slow down when driving in bad weather conditions," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Always check drivebc.ca before heading out so you're fully prepared for the road conditions ahead."
"Speeding is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in B.C.," said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "Posted speed limits are set for ideal driving conditions only. Police are out now across B.C. looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds for the road conditions."
"In poor weather conditions, adjust your driving – slow down, increase your following distance and allow extra travel time," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's director responsible for road safety. "By driving safely and avoiding crashes, you can help reduce claims costs and the pressure on insurance rates."
*Crashes where at least one person was injured or killed. Compares October to December using police data (annual average from 2011 to 2015).