A busy, cold holiday season increases the need for safe winter driving on Vancouver Island
The hectic holiday season not only brings winter weather such as rain, ice, fog and snow but also an increase in vehicle travel and hurried drivers. It’s a dangerous combination that can put drivers at increased risk.
Winter Driving Safety Alliance (WDSA) would like to remind residents to adopt safe winter driving practices over the holiday and winter season.
According to statistics on vehicle crashes reported to police from 2015-19, the average number of casualty crashes more than doubles in B.C. due to driving too fast for road conditions from fall to early winter.
“Most crashes are preventable if we prepare and plan ahead for the conditions we will face,” said Louise Yako, spokesperson for the WDSA’s annual ‘Shift into Winter’ campaign. “Slowing down to match road conditions can save your life, the lives of people travelling with you, and the lives of others using the road, including pedestrians,” she said. “And that would be the best gift you could give anyone.”
To help area drivers reduce the risk of being in a crash over the holidays, the WDSA offers the following safety tips:
• Don’t drive if it’s non-essential when conditions are poor or hazardous. If the trips are work-related, it is your right to refuse to drive in unsafe conditions.
• Know before you go: check conditions and plan your route.
• Make sure your vehicle has four matched winter tires, preferably ones that carry the three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbols that have a tread depth of at least 3.5 mm.
• Be prepared for winter driving by clearing all snow off your vehicle and waiting for the windows to completely defrost.
• Maintain a safe following distance of at least four seconds.
• Use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance equipment.
For more information on holiday season winter driving safety, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca. The 13th annual campaign is a joint provincial initiative supported by the WDSA and managed by Road Safety at Work.
– NEWS Staff, submitted