WITH heavy rainfall and wind forecasted throughout the Lower Mainland this week, ICBC and police are warning drivers to be prepared for the challenges of driving in the fall and winter in the Lower Mainland and adjust their driving to the road conditions they encounter.
Every October, there is an average of 49 crashes resulting in injuries or death due to driving too fast for the conditions in the Lower Mainland. That number increases by 29 per cent to 64 in December as driving conditions worsen.
Police and Speed Watch volunteers in the Lower Mainland are looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds now and throughout November. In poor conditions, slow down, increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
“When you’re driving in wet weather, slow down and increase your following distance so you have time to react to the unexpected,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Always check drivebc.ca before heading out so you’re prepared for the road conditions ahead.”
“Speeding is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in B.C.,” said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Seven out of 10 speed-related crashes are related to driving too fast for the road conditions. That’s why police are out across B.C. looking for drivers travelling too fast for the conditions.”
“With the arrival of heavy rain in the Lower Mainland, drivers need to slow down, increase their following distance and give themselves plenty of travel time,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s Director of Road Safety. “Be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists who are harder to see at this time of year.”
* 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.
* Consider using your headlights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers.
* If you’re travelling to other parts of the province with icy or snowy conditions, 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.
* If snow hits, consider alternatives to help you get to work safely – take transit, work from home or adjust your hours of work to avoid rush hour traffic. If you will be driving, visit drivebc.ca to check road conditions for your entire route and for possible road closures.