ICBC urges drivers to avoid distractions ahead of the last long weekend of summer
August 31, 2023
As we approach Labour Day long weekend and busier roads with the return of school and work routines next week, ICBC is asking drivers to avoid distractions and stay focused on sharing the road with cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
Drivers are 3.6 times more likely to crash if talking on the phone or texting while driving. That's why ICBC and police are kicking off a month long education and enforcement campaign this weekend to combat distracting driving.
Police across B.C. will be ramping up enforcement this long weekend and throughout September, and community volunteers will be setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phones alone.
Find tips and statistics in an infographic on icbc.com.
Shabnem Afzal, ICBC's director of road safety
“Sadly, in B.C., we lose 77 people each year as a result of crashes involving distracted driving. All of these deaths are preventable. We know that roads will be even busier as we head back to school and work, so drivers, be proactive and put your phone away. No call or text is worth the risk."
Chief Superintendent Holly Turton, BC Highway Patrol
“Despite increased awareness and enforcement efforts, many drivers still aren't getting the message about the dangers of distracted driving. Every time a driver takes their eyes off the road, they put themselves and others on the road in danger. Police will be out on the road in every community making sure people leave their phones alone while driving."
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
"Road safety is a shared responsibility, and every driver plays a vital role in preventing crashes and ensuring the well-being of all road users in B.C. As we approach the Labour Day long weekend and enter a busy month on the roads, we urge everyone to avoid distractions and be cautious while driving. Let's work together to make our roads safer for everyone."
Labour Day long weekend statistics*
In B.C., on average, there are 568 people injured in 1,994 crashes every Labour Day long weekend.
In the Lower Mainland, on average, there are 409 injured victims in 1,239 crashes over the Labour Day long weekend.
On Vancouver Island, on average, there are 69 injured victims in 299 crashes over the Labour Day long weekend.
In the Southern Interior, on average, there are 65 injured victims in 306 crashes over the Labour Day long weekend.
In North Central B.C., on average, there are 20 injured victims in 106 crashes over the Labour Day long weekend.
Distracted driving statistics**
Distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes and injuries in B.C.
Nearly 40% of police-reported crashes resulting in injury involve distracted driving as a factor.
Each year, distracting driving contributes to over 6,500 injuries and 77 deaths in B.C.
Every year, on average, 23 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland.
Every year, on average, 10 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.
Every year, on average, 30 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.
Every year, on average, 15 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region.
*Five year annual average. Crash and injury data is ICBC data from 2018 to 2022 from 18:00 hours the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Labour Day Monday.
**Police data from 2017 to 2021. Distraction: where one or more of the vehicles involved had contributing factors including use of communication/video equipment, driver inattentive and driver internal/external distraction.