Drivers should be cautious as the long weekend sends many to the hospital, or the morgue.
With the B.C. Day long weekend almost here, ICBC is renewing its warnings to drive safely whether in town or on a road trip.
On average, five people are killed and 533 injured in 1,935 crashes every B.C. Day weekend across the province. Of those 1,187 crashes and 346 injuries happen in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
Here are ICBC's tips for driving on the long weekend:
- Plan ahead: If you know you'll be having drinks this weekend, plan a safe ride home before you start drinking. Choose a designated driver, take transit, call a cab, or use a shuttle service.
- Be realistic: Allow extra travel time for possible delays due to increased traffic over the long weekend. Check drivebc.ca for road and weather conditions before setting out.
- Your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle is up to the drive before you hit the road. Check your engine oil, washer fluid, lights and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated. When packing camping or outdoor equipment, make sure that it is securely tied down before you take off.
- Stay focused: Hot summer days and long drives can be a dangerous combination, often resulting in driver fatigue, which slows our reaction time, decreases our awareness and impairs our judgment. Get plenty of rest, take regular breaks or swap drivers to get to your destination safely.
- Watch out: In the summer months, there are more motorcyclists and cyclists on our roads so slow down, use extra caution and keep a look out for other roads users.
- Give your distance: Always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles. Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good weather and road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you're behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping distance.
"The unfortunate reality is that we see a spike in crashes over the B.C. Day long weekend so please drive responsibly and be courteous so that everyone gets to their destination and home again safely," said Kevin Falcon, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier.
"If you're going to get behind the wheel this weekend, you owe it to yourself and those you love to take your time, focus on the road and absolutely avoid driving while impaired," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "We're tough on dangerous driving behaviours because their consequences remain devastating for too many B.C. families."
"The safety of our roads is a shared but very personal responsibility - we need to work together this long weekend to prevent senseless deaths and injuries from happening on our roads," said Victoria Police Chief Constable Jamie Graham, who chairs the Traffic Safety Committee of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP). "Police will be out in full force across the province this weekend to make sure drivers stay focused on the road."
"If you're staying in town this weekend, we want you to have a great time so make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home," said Fiona Temple, ICBC's director of road safety. "If you're setting off on a road trip, keep in mind that long drives and hot summer days can be a dangerous combination and increase your risk of driver fatigue. Take regular breaks and recognize when you're too tired to continue - we want you and your family to have a fun and safe road trip."