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Drivers urged to prepare for changing road conditions during the first long weekend of fall

October 3, 2017

Whether travelling around town or across the province for Thanksgiving gatherings this long weekend, ICBC is urging drivers to be prepared for seasonal changes that could create adverse road conditions.

B.C. sees about 2,000 crashes every Thanksgiving long weekend that, on average, result in 600 injuries and four fatalities.

ICBC offers the following tips for drivers:

  • Plan your route ahead of time. The weather can be unpredictable on highways and at higher elevations; plan ahead to make your trip as safe as possible. Check road and weather conditions before your trip at drivebc.ca. With more holiday weekend traffic, allow extra time to get to your destination.

  • Check if you need winter tires. Drivers are required to use winter tires on some B.C. highwaysWinter tires are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M&S designation).

  • Slow down on wet roads. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet and slippery roads or on roads covered in leaves to give yourself time to stop. The posted speed limits are only intended for ideal conditions.

  • Check your tires to avoid hydroplaning. Tires with lower tread depth and low pressure are more likely to hydroplane. To prevent hydroplaning, check your tires for proper tread and inflation, scan ahead for large puddles and reduce your speed, especially during heavy rain.

  • Watch for pedestrians. With shorter days and reduced visibility, be vigilant around intersections and watch for pedestrians. October marks the first month of the season where crashes involving pedestrians peak. In addition to pedestrians, be on the lookout for cyclists and other road users.

Regional statistics*:

  • About 450 people are injured in 1,300 crashes in the Lower Mainland over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

  • About 75 people are injured in 260 crashes on Vancouver Island over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

  • About 52 people are injured in 290 crashes in the Southern Interior over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

  • About 18 people are injured in 140 crashes in North Central B.C. over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Note: *Thanksgiving weekend crashes are calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday. Fatality data is police data (5-year average, 2011-2015) and crash and injury data is ICBC data (5-year average, 2012 – 2016).

Joanna Linsangan
604-982-2480