Long weekends should be relaxing, but for emergency crews, they can be some of the busiest weekends of the year. On average, four people die and 630 people are injured in B.C. in 2,300 crashes every B.C. Day long weekend.
Last year, on Vancouver Island alone, 74 people were injured in 310 crashes. During the same weekend, 470 people were injured in 1,400 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland, 78 people were injured in 360 crashes throughout the Southern Interior, and 24 people were injured in 130 crashes throughout the North Central region.
ICBC and B.C. police have released a warning to drivers, asking them to take precautions when the province’s highways will be busier than ever.
Their biggest request? Slow down.
“When you slow down, you see more of the road and have more time to react,” says an ICBC media release. “If you’re caught speeding, you end up paying in a number of ways – from increased insurance premiums to fines and impoundment.”
ICBC’s tips to stay safe include: plan your route and check road conditions at drivebc.ca before you go; make room for other drivers; when a driver is passing, slow down to help them get back into your lane; don’t rush, be realistic about the busy roads and extended travel times and slow down to ensure you arrive at your destination safely; and avoid distractions – leave your phone alone, and keep your eyes on the road.
One other fun tip includes making a motorcycle game. ICBC suggests having every passenger guess how many motorcycles you’ll see during your drive and counting them as you go. “It’s a great way to teach young drivers to look for motorcycles,” ICBC says.
For more information on staying safe this long weekend, visit icbc.com.