Every year an average of three people are killed and 670 injured in 2,300 crashes throughout B.C. over the Easter long weekend. Provincial officials are urging caution as hundreds of motorists take to the roads to visit family and friends.
“Easter long weekend is here, the weather is getting nicer, and hitting the road to see family and friends is on the agenda,” B.C.’s Transportation Ministry said in a news release.
“It’s really important you get to where you’re going safely.”
According to ICBC statistics between 2011 and 2015, about 1,500 crashes are seen within the Lower Mainland. Roughly 130 crashes occur in each other region across the province.
Road Safety BC has offered up a number of tips for drivers to consider before getting behind the wheel.
Weather conditions can change suddenly at this time of year, especially when travelling over long distances. Check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca which features over 400 webcam views throughout the province.
Get a tune-up
Remember to check the engine oil, washer fluid and lights. Take a look at your vehicle’s tires, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated. Keep winter tires on vehicles until April 30, if driving mountain passes.
Be realistic about travel times and plan rest stops at least every two hours to avoid becoming fatigued while driving. Fatigue slows a driver’s reaction time, decreases awareness and affects their judgment.
Put phones away
Turn off cell phones or store them out of reach to avoid the temptation. Research shows five seconds of texting at highway speeds is like driving blindfolded for almost the length of an entire football field.
The risk of being in a fatal crash is, on average, seven times greater at a blood alcohol content between .05 and .08, compared with driving sober. Let someone else drive or make alternate arrangements to avoid drinking and driving.
Obey the limit
Speed is B.C.’s number one road safety problem, contributing to about 35% of all fatal crashes. Vehicles driven at greater than 40 km/hr over the posted speed limit are immediately impounded in B.C. Their drivers are fined and three penalty points are added to their licence.
Share the road
Warmer weather encourages more motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists to hit the road. Give other road users the time and space to reach their destinations safely.