Holiday season

The holidays are just around the corner and many drivers will be traveling to visit family and friends to celebrate together. With increased traffic and unpredictable road conditions, it’s important for everyone to be prepared and drive smart.

Over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s, 510 people are injured and two people are killed in 1,890 crashes every year in B.C. That’s 35 crashes and nine people injured every hour.

Here are ICBC’s tips to help everyone get home safe this holiday season.

  • Check your vehicle. Many B.C. highways require winter tires, labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation. Top up wiper fluid for clearer visibility and pack an emergency kit including blanket, food and water.
  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions only. It takes more time and distance to come to a complete stop on wet, icy or snowy roads. Adjust your speed to the conditions and always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles.
  • Avoid distraction. Make important calls before you get in your vehicle and let your family and friends know you’re not available while driving. If you’re on a longer drive, use highway rest stops to take a break and check your messages.
  • Take a break. Pull over as soon as you start to feel drowsy. Get out and walk around to get some fresh air. If that’s not enough, pull over to a safe area, turn off your car and take a nap.
  • Plan for a safe ride home.If your holiday festivities involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home: arrange a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose where available. There’s no excuse to drink and drive.

Christmas holiday statistics:

  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, one person is killed and 340 people are injured in 1,200 crashes in B.C. every year.
  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 250 people are injured in 780 crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.
  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 34 people are injured in 170 crashes on Vancouver Island every year.
  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 42 people are injured in 170 crashes in the Southern Interior every year.
  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 13 people are injured in 88 crashes in the North Central region every year.