The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are upon us this week and many drivers will be travelling to visit family and friends to celebrate together.
With increased traffic and unpredictable road conditions, ICBC has issue a reminder that it is important for everyone to plan ahead and stay safe.
Over Christmas and New Year’s, on average, 460 people are injured and five people are killed in crashes every year in B.C.
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 distractions. 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 plans involve alcohol, make sure you plan how you’re getting home before you head out. Choose a designated driver or keep money aside for a bus or taxi. Operation Red Nose is also available in 20 B.C. communities to help get you and your car home.
Regional Christmas holiday statistics*
During the Christmas holidays, on average, 210 people are injured in 630 crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.
During the Christmas holidays, on average, 40 people are injured in 140 crashes on Vancouver Island every year.
During the Christmas holidays, on average, 40 people are injured in 160 crashes in the Southern Interior every year.
During the Christmas holidays, on average, 20 people are injured in 90 crashes in the North Central region every year.
Regional New Year’s statistics.
Every year during New Year’s, on average, 100 people are injured in 310 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
Every year during New Year’s, on average, 20 people are injured in 80 crashes on Vancouver Island.
Every year during New Year’s, on average, 20 people are injured in 80 crashes in the Southern Interior.
Every year during New Year’s, on average, 10 people are injured in 50 crashes in the North Central region.
Christmas is defined as 18:00 hours December 24 to midnight December 26. New Year’s is defined as 18:00 hours December 31 of the previous year to midnight January 1 of the New Year.