ICBC & police warning of challenges Island drivers face this fall
November 1, 2016
On Vancouver Island, serious crashes involving injury or death due to driving too fast for the conditions increase by 44 per cent as the weather worsens throughout fall.*
That's why ICBC and police are appealing to Vancouver Island 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 Island drivers this fall:
When driving in dark and rainy conditions, focus your full attention on the road and use extra caution when approaching intersections. It can be very difficult to see pedestrians and other road users when visibility is reduced.
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.
When fog hits, turn your headlights on or use fog lights if it's very foggy. Use your defroster to keep your windows clear and partly roll down a window for more visibility if you need it. Use the right edge of the road or road markings as a guide.
Heavy rain can seriously reduce visibility and make road surfaces more difficult to stop on. Make sure your wipers are in good condition, slow down and increase your following distance to at least four seconds.
When temperatures near freezing, be aware of black ice. If you notice ice build-up on your windshield, there's likely black ice on the road. Black ice is commonly found in shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections. Slow down and increase your following distance.
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. "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. 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).