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ICBC advises drivers on the South Coast to be ready for stormy weather

October 12, 2016


With a series of powerful storms expected to hit B.C.'s South Coast this evening and lasting through the weekend, ICBC is urging drivers to use extra caution, slow down and make sure their vehicles are ready for this challenging weather.

Heavy rain, wind and power outages are expected and lead to difficult driving conditions, especially at intersections when traffic lights stop working.

Here are ICBC's key tips for drivers:

  • Remember the four-way stop rules. If traffic lights stop working or aren't working properly – for instance, when all four lights in an intersection are flashing – treat the intersection like a four-way stop.

When there are stop signs at all corners, remember:

    • The first vehicle to arrive at the intersection and come to a complete stop should go first.
    • If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the one on the right should go first.
    • If two vehicles are facing each other and have arrived at the intersection at about the same time, the one making a left turn should yield to the one going straight through.

If there is any doubt about who has the right-of-way, or if there is any chance of a crash, it's always better to yield the right-of-way to the other person.

  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions only. Adjust your driving in poor conditions. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet and slippery roads or on roads covered in leaves or debris. Avoid driving through flooded or washed out roads.

  • Prevent hydroplaning. Hydroplaning takes place when the tires lose contact with the road surface and float on a film of water, and you lose control of steering and braking. It can happen in rain or standing water. The higher your speed, the greater your chances of hydroplaning. Prevent hydroplaning by scanning ahead for large puddles and reducing your speed, especially during heavy rain. If hydroplaning happens, don't brake — decelerate and drive straight.

  • Use your headlights. Consider using your headlights in poor weather and reduced visibility – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers.

  • Watch for other road users. Look twice for pedestrians crossing the road particularly when visibility is poor.

  • Check your vehicle. Prepare your vehicle for fall and winter driving. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Check the condition of your windshield wiper blades and replace them if they're worn out. Top up wiper fluid for clearer visibility and carry extra washer fluid in your vehicle. Fill up your gas tank. Pack an emergency kit and make sure it includes a flashlight and extra batteries.

Optional comprehensive insurance coverage through ICBC or a private insurer typically covers vehicle damage caused in a windstorm. Comprehensive claims don't impact your overall insurance premiums. If your vehicle is damaged in a storm, you can report a comprehensive claim online at or by calling ICBC's Dial-a-Claim at 604-520-8222 or 1-800-910-4222.

Media contact:

Sam Corea