As winter arrived in some parts of the province this week, it was timely that safe winter driving was the focus of a news conference in downtown Vancouver on Monday, October 3.
Representatives from the BC government, ICBC, WorkSafeBC, and the RCMP came together at the Jack Poole Plaza to remind drivers that as road conditions become more hazardous during the winter months, their driving needs to change.
“Whether you drive to and from work, or spend much of your job on the road, every driver needs to be prepared for changeable and often challenging winter driving conditions,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minster Responsible for Labour. “Being aware of the weather and planning for winter road conditions can mean the difference between a tragedy and getting home safely to your family at the end of the day.”
On average, each year in British Columbia, the number of casualty crashes due to driving too fast for conditions doubles from 117 in October to 236 in December.*
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace death. There are 20 per cent more crashes causing worker injury or death between October and February that during the rest of the year.**
To be safer when driving in winter conditions:
- Slow down to a safe speed. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
- Install four-matched winter tires that display the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. Winter tires, or all-weather tires, offer the best traction for faster stopping time and shorter stopping distance in cold weather, snow, rain and on ice. In all conditions winter tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.
- For employers and supervisors: you have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your workers when they are behind the wheel on business. Take the Winter Driving Safety online course and use the Tool Kit which has everything you need to plan, implement and monitor a winter driving safety program for your organization.
*ICBC Annual Average Casualty Crashes due to Driving too Fast for Conditions 2011-2015 police reported data.