Campaign targets fall road safety in B.C.

ICBC and the police have launched a campaign urging drivers to prepare for the challenges of driving in the fall and winter.

Every year in October, an average of 28 people are injured or killed in crashes in the Southern Interior due to driving too fast for the conditions. That number more than triples to 97 in December as driving conditions worsen.

That’s why ICBC and the police have launched a campaign urging drivers to prepare for the challenges of driving in the fall and winter.

“Safety is our top priority and we want Southern Interior drivers to be prepared for the rapidly changing weather conditions we experience at this time of year,” said Todd Stone, transportation minister.

“Give yourself extra travel time so you aren’t rushing and always check drivebc.ca before heading out so you can prepare for the road conditions you’ll encounter.”

Seven out of 10 speed-related crashes in B.C. are caused by driving too fast for the road conditions, such as in rainy, icy or snowy weather. Throughout November, police and Speed Watch volunteers across B.C. are asking drivers to slow down and adjust their speed for the conditions.

“In the Southern Interior, drivers often encounter snow, ice and darker conditions at this time of year,” said Jamie Graham, with the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police.

Here are ICBC’s tips to help you stay safe this fall and winter:

When ice or snow hits: Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly. Early in the season, make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you may be driving in and check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.

Consider alternatives: When heavy winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives to help you get to work safely – take transit, work from home or adjust your hours to avoid rush hour traffic.

If heavy rain hits: Heavy rain can seriously reduce visibility and make road surfaces more difficult to stop on. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and increase your following distance to at least four seconds so that you have time to stop if you need to.

Planning a trip: If you’re travelling to an area you’re not familiar with, check the road conditions for your entire route so you can prepare your vehicle for the weather you may encounter.