AS British Columbians ramp up to enjoy the final weekend of summer holidays, drivers are encouraged to stay safe and stay alert when behind the wheel. ICBC anticipates as many as 2,000 crashes to occur this long weekend. About six people are killed and 520 people are injured every Labour Day long weekend.
Drivers should expect more volume on highways and roads with people taking their final summer road trip.
ICBC warns drivers to watch for drowsy drivers and to look out for symptoms of fatigue in themselves. According to drivers participating in a recent poll by ICBC, more than half (55%) reported to being tired at least some of the time when travelling long distances.
Drowsiness can cause drivers to lose focus, slow their reaction time, impair their vision, and affect their ability to make good driving decisions.
* Drifting out of your lane
* Inconsistent speed
* Erratic braking
* Missing an exit or turn
* Frequent yawning
* Frequent blinking
* Loss of concentration
How to protect yourself:
* Get enough sleep. Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep to be well-rested and alert the next day.
* Travel in the morning. Sleepiness can affect people throughout the day, but drivers are prone to drowsy driving in the late-afternoon and late at night when the body’s circadian rhythm dips.**
* Take frequent breaks. Schedule a break at least once every two hours. Use this time to send an update to family and friends, or to check road conditions. There are currently two rest areas that have free Wi-Fi – the Britton Creek stop on the Coquihalla near Merritt, and the Glacier View rest area on Highway 16 near Smithers.
* Share the driving with others. Split the responsibility to get to your destination safely with other drivers in your vehicle.
Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead by visiting drivebc.ca for the latest road conditions.