Long weekends mean more vehicles – and crashes – on B.C. roads. On average, three people are killed and 560 injured in crashes over the B.C. Day long weekend every year. In a new ICBC survey, 66% of respondents stated they have already taken or will be taking a road trip this summer. Nearly half of those planning a road trip (45%) stated they’ll be driving more than they did last summer. We’re sharing important safety tips for drivers to help keep our roads safe this long weekend.
- Look for motorcycles. Summer means more motorcyclists on our roads so it's vital to scan for them as you approach an intersection. Be ready to yield the right-of-way when turning left and keep in mind that it can be hard to tell how fast motorcyclists are travelling.
- Be patient with R.V. drivers and those towing trailers or boats. If one of these vehicles is travelling below the speed limit in mountainous areas, they're likely going uphill as fast as they can. If you're driving an R.V. or towing weight and holding up drivers behind you, be courteous and pull over when it's safe to do so to let others by. This is much safer than a driver making an unsafe pass out of frustration.
- Do a pre-trip check. Check your engine oil, coolant levels and lights, and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they're in good condition and properly inflated. If you'll be travelling with your pet, make sure they're properly secured. You should also securely tie down any camping or outdoor equipment to your vehicle before you take off.
- Most crashes this long weekend happen on Friday so plan to head out on Thursday or Saturday morning if possible to avoid traffic congestion and possible delays. If you do end up delayed, don't rush to make up time – slow down to reduce your risk of crashing. Plan your route on DriveBC.ca and include rest breaks or switch drivers every two hours to avoid getting fatigued behind the wheel.
- If you'll be going out for drinks while you're out of town, plan ahead for a safe ride home. Look into local options such as taxis, ride hailing, transit or shuttle services. Set up relevant apps on your cell phone so you can relax knowing you have a plan to get home safely.
On Vancouver Island, on average, one person is killed and 70 people are injured in 300 crashes every year over the B.C. Day long weekend.