Whatever vehicle you’re driving over the Labour Day long weekend, ICBC is asking you to share the road and do your part to drive smart and keep yourself and others safe.
Every Labour Day long weekend, approximately five people die and 610 people are injured in 2,200 crashes across the province. In the Southern Interior the weekend sees, on average, 77 people injured in 330 crashes.
While there has been a decrease in out-of-province visitors this year, many British Columbians will be hitting the road for the last long weekend of the summer. If you’re on the highway you can expect to see many RVs, motorcyclists, and trucks, and if you’re staying in town, expect more pedestrians and cyclists on the road.
The key to sharing the road safely is to stay focused on driving and look out for the other road users around you, whether they’re on foot or in a vehicle. Avoid distractions which will take your eyes off the road and your mind off driving.
ICBC has some drive smart tips for sharing the road:
• You can only see motorcycles when you really look for them, so make a game of it. Ask every passenger to guess how many motorcycles you’ll see during the drive and then count them as you travel. Leave plenty of space when passing a motorcycle, and allow at least three seconds of following distance.
• Crashes with trucks and RVs are usually much more serious due to their sheer size and weight. Keep clear of their blind spots: when following, you should be able to see both mirrors of the RV or truck in front of you. If you’re behind a slow moving RV or truck climbing up a hill, leave extra space and be patient, as they’re probably trying their best to keep up with the flow of traffic.
• Most crashes with cyclists and pedestrians happen at intersections, so always look for them, especially before turning. Make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.
• Obey all signs and traffic control people in construction zones. Remember that fines double if you speed in a construction zone, so pay attention to temporary speed limits. Be kind to traffic control people, and remember that this year’s road work will make next year’s trip that much easier.
• Check road conditions at www.drivebc.ca before you leave. Be realistic about travel times and accept delays that may arise. Don’t rush to make up time; slow down to reduce your risk of crashing, and arrive at your destination safely. You also save fuel by driving at a safe and steady speed.