As B.C. roads are expected to be busy with the unofficial start of the summer road trip season this May long weekend, ICBC and police are asking drivers to slow down and maintain a safe speed now and throughout summer.
Crashes and injuries increase on long weekends because of many factors, including unsafe speed as people may be rushing to reach their destination. Last year over the Victoria Day long weekend, 490 people were hurt in 1,900 crashes in B.C.
That’s why ICBC and police are launching an education and enforcement campaign to tie in with Victoria Day weekend. Province-wide police will be out on B.C. roads targeting high-risk driving behaviours and Speed Watch volunteers will be set up in communities across B.C. to encourage drivers to slow down.
Here are ICBC’s top driving tips to keep you safe this long weekend and all summer:
- Let others into your lane:Don’t speed up as someone is trying to pass you. Help the other driver get into your lane by slowing down and making room.
- Slow down: Posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions. On uneven or wet roads, and in bad weather conditions, slow down and increase your following distance to at least four seconds.
- Plan ahead:Allow extra time to get to your destination. Avoid rushing by planning your route in advance. Be realistic about your travel time. If you’re going to be later than expected, be patient and accept the delay.
- Scan intersections: The majority of crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists happen in intersections, so it’s important to approach all intersections cautiously.
- Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle’s ready for the trip. Don’t drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires. Keep the wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility.
- Watch for other road users: As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, pay extra attention to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Leave your phone alone:No call or text is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Remember using a phone at a stop light is prohibited. If you have to take a call, pull over when it’s safe; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief. Make sure you’re focused on driving before re-entering traffic.
- Last year, 330 people were injured in 1,200 crashes throughout theLower Mainland over the Victoria Day long weekend.
- Last year, 52 people were injured in 290 crashes throughout theVancouver Island over the Victoria Day long weekend.
- Last year, 69 people were injured in 270 crashes throughout the Southern Interiorover the Victoria Day long weekend.
- Last year, 38 people were injured in 140 crashes throughout the North Central region over the Victoria Day long weekend.
*Victoria Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to Victoria Day to midnight Monday. Injured victims and crashes from 2016 ICBC data.