The Insurance Corporation of B.C. has released some sobering statistics in hopes that British Columbians will take precautions and stay safe on the roads this holiday season.
The statistics, based on five years (2013-2017) of ICBC data, show that on average 510 people are injured and two people are killed in 1,890 crashes that occur during the Christmas holidays (Christmas Eve to Boxing Day) and New Year’s every year in B.C.
That’s 35 crashes and nine people injured every hour.
Christmas holiday (Christmas Eve to Boxing Day) statistics:
• On average, one person is killed and 340 people are injured in 1,200 crashes in B.C. every year.
• On average, 250 people are injured in 780 crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.
• On average, 34 people are injured in 170 crashes on Vancouver Island every year.
• On average, 42 people are injured in 170 crashes in the Southern Interior every year.
• On average, 13 people are injured in 88 crashes in the North Central region every year.
New Year’s (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day) statistics:
• On average, one person is killed and 170 people are injured in 690 crashes in B.C.
• On average, 130 people are injured in 460 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
• On average, 18 people are injured in 82 crashes on Vancouver Island.
• On average, 15 people are injured in 92 crashes in the Southern Interior.
• On average, 10 people are injured in 48 crashes in the North Central region.
Here are ICBC’s tips to help everyone get home safe this holiday season:
• Check your vehicle. Many B.C. highways require winter tires, labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation. Top up wiper fluid for clearer visibility and pack an emergency kit including blanket, food and water.
• Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions only. It takes more time and distance to come to a complete stop on wet, icy or snowy roads. Adjust your speed to the conditions and always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles.
• Avoid distraction. Make important calls before you get in your vehicle and let your family and friends know you’re not available while driving. If you’re on a longer drive, use highway rest stops to take a break and check your messages.
• Take a break. Pull over as soon as you start to feel drowsy. Get out and walk around to get some fresh air. If that’s not enough, pull over to a safe area, turn off your car and take a nap.
• Plan for a safe ride home. If your holiday festivities involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home: arrange a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose where available. Operation Red Nose is a volunteer service that offers people a safe ride home during the holiday season in a bid to stop impaired driving.