Accidents and deaths increase on our highways on long weekends, so take if you’re driving (and think of your passengers). Photo: ICBC

Stay safe on BC’s highways this Victoria Day long weekend

Who’s more worried about speeding: drivers or passengers? A survey finds the answer

As drivers hit the road this Victoria Day long weekend, police will be conducting a province-wide enforcement blitz to target speeders as part of a month-long campaign.

Over the Victoria Day long weekend in 2017, 540 people were injured in 2,300 crashes in B.C. In the Southern Interior, 69 people were injured in 350 crashes during that weekend.

Not only will the crackdown keep roads safer, it will keep passengers and drivers feeling more secure. In a survey conducted by Ipsos for ICBC in April 2019, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents said they’ve been concerned for their safety as a passenger in a vehicle which they considered to be speeding. And as drivers, 46 per cent said their top concern of possible consequences from speeding was injuring a passenger.

With speed the number one cause of car crash fatalities in B.C., it’s no wonder people are concerned. As people travel with family and friends this long weekend, remember to slow down (if you’re driving) and speak up if you’re a passenger and you feel uncomfortable.

Speeding increases the risk of crashing. That’s why ICBC, police, and Speed Watch volunteers are urging drivers to slow down. When you slow down, you see more of the road and have more time to react.

Tips for a safe long weekend trip:

– Plan your route and check road conditions at before you leave. If a road along your planned route is showing delays, make alternative arrangements or plan your trip for later in the day.

– Don’t speed up as someone is trying to pass you. Help the other driver get back into your lane by slowing down and making room.

– Be realistic about travel times. Don’t rush to make up time: slow down to reduce your risk of crashing and arrive at your destination safely.

– Make a game of looking for motorcycles. Have each passenger guess how many motorcycles you’ll see during the drive and then count them as you go. It’s a great way to teach young drivers to look for motorcyclists, which can sometimes be difficult to see.

– Stay focused and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of crashes.

– If you start to feel drowsy, let someone else drive. If that isn’t possible, pull over and take a break to stretch your legs or get some rest. Winding down the window won’t wake you up.

– If you’re depending on GPS to get you where you’re going, make sure your navigation system has the latest updates. It’s not a bad idea to pack a paper map, just in case.

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