ICBC: Crashes peak in December as winter weather hits
Do your part to keep our roads safe over the holidays
December 19, 2022
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here, and many British Columbians will be hitting the road to shop and celebrate with family and friends over Christmas and New Year's. Crashes peak in December – on average, 26,000 crashes occur this month, which is 2,000 more crashes than the monthly average.* With more snow forecast across the province this week, driving may be dangerous if you're unprepared behind the wheel.
Over the Christmas holidays and New Year's, three people are killed and 510 people are injured in 1,790 crashes in B.C. every year,** with poor road conditions being the number one contributing factor.
ICBC's tips to help everyone get home safe this holiday season:
- Prepare your vehicle. Winter tires are the safest choice when driving in winter conditions, especially when it snows. Many B.C. highways require winter tires, labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation. Top up wiper fluid for clearer visibility and pack an emergency kit including a blanket, food and water. More information on preparing your vehicle for winter conditions is available online at Shift Into Winter. Once your vehicle is prepared, check drivebc.ca for road conditions and closures along your route.
- Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions only. It takes more time and distance to come to a complete stop on wet, icy or snowy roads. Adjust your speed to the conditions and always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles.
- Avoid distractions. Watch for vehicles and pedestrians while you search for parking in busy parking lots. Make important calls and program your GPS before you begin driving. Let your family and friends know you're not available while driving. Ensure your pet isn't in a position to distract you while driving. If you will have children with you, have them bring something they enjoy doing safely so you can focus on the road.
- Take a break. If you're on a longer drive, use highway rest stops to stretch, take a break and check your messages. Pull over at the nearest rest area as soon as you start to feel drowsy. Get out and walk around to get some fresh air. If that's not enough, turn off your car and take a nap.
- Plan for a safe ride home. If your holiday festivities are going to involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home: arrange for a designated driver, book a ride sharing service, call a taxi, use public transit, or use Operation Red Nose where available. There's no excuse to drink and drive.
Christmas holiday statistics:**
- Every year during the Christmas holidays, on average, two people are killed and 310 people are injured in 1,100 crashes in B.C.
- Every year during the Christmas holidays, on average, one person is killed and 220 people are injured in 710 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
- Every year during the Christmas holidays, on average, one person is killed and 36 people are injured in 170 crashes on Vancouver Island.
- Every year during the Christmas holidays, on average, one person is killed and 37 people are injured in 170 crashes in the Southern Interior.
- Every year during the Christmas holidays, on average, 14 people are injured in 73 crashes in the North Central region.
New Year's statistics:**
- Every year during New Year's, on average, one person is killed and 200 people are injured in 690 crashes in B.C.
- Every year during New Year's, on average, 140 people are injured in 440 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
- Every year during New Year's, on average, 23 people are injured in 82 crashes on Vancouver Island.
- Every year during New Year's, on average, 25 people are injured in 110 crashes in the Southern Interior.
- Every year during New Year's, on average, one person is killed and eight people are injured in 44 crashes in the North Central region.
*Monthly crash data available on the statistics page of icbc.com. Based on five year average (2017 to 2021) ICBC data.
**Christmas is defined as starting at 18:00 hours December 24 to midnight December 26. New Year's is defined as starting at 18:00 hours December 31st of the previous year to midnight January 1 of the new year. Based on five year average (2017 to 2021). ICBC data for injury and crashes and police data for fatalities.
Total ICBC claims reported in B.C.***
Week of December 18 to 24, 2022
Sun, Dec. 18
Mon, Dec. 19
Tue, Dec. 20
Wed, Dec. 21
Thu, Dec. 22
Fri, Dec. 23
Sat, Dec. 24
Top 20 loss locations in B.C. – December 18 to 24, 2022
|Location of loss||Sun, Dec. 18||Mon, Dec. 19||Tue, Dec. 20||Wed, Dec. 21||Thu, Dec. 22||Fri, Dec. 23||Sat, Dec. 24|
***Dates refer to the date claims occurred. Report as of 12pm on December 25. Data may settle further or be restated as claims continue to be reported. Data will be refreshed up on this page until Sunday, Dec. 25 (with statistics up to Dec. 24).