The Winter Driving Safety Alliance advises all drivers to prepare now to stay safe on the roads this winter
RICHMOND, BC—Last winter’s extreme conditions contributed to a 10 percent increase in motor-vehicle casualty crashes in BC between October and December, where driving too fast for the conditions was a contributing factor. This is a 10 percent increase from 2015, when 570 casualty crashes occurred, as compared to 626 in 20161 (police-attended crashes, 2012–2016).
For those who drive for work, October, November and December are the most dangerous months. Almost 30 percent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur during these three months.
In December 2016 alone, WorkSafeBC claims from crashes that resulted in injuries and lost time from work were 38 percent higher than in December 2015.
Depending on where you drive in the province, winter road conditions vary, from snow and ice in the north and on high mountain passes, to rain and fog commonly found in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. Drivers need to prepare for the possibility of changing road and weather conditions, and adapt.
The Winter Driving Safety Alliance advises all drivers to prepare now to stay safe on the roads this winter.
Don’t go: If conditions are bad, postpone your trip if possible.
Plan your trip: If you have to travel, check road and weather conditions and select the safest route. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination to avoid rushing, and have an emergency plan if you get stuck.
Prepare your vehicle: Install a set of four matched winter tires and keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Every year, be sure to give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
Slow down and drive to the conditions: Even the most confident and seasoned drivers are at risk in hazardous road conditions. Slow down to match road conditions and maintain a safe following distance, at least four seconds, between you and the vehicle ahead.
For employers and supervisors: The Winter Driving Safety online course and Toolkit on the Shift Into Winter website provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter-driving safety program.