As daylight hours decrease and the weather changes for the worse, pedestrians are more at risk than usual, with almost double the number of pedestrians injured in crashes from October to January.
In B.C., on average, 1,200 pedestrians are injured in crashes during those four months, while 670 pedestrians are injured between May and August. In the Southern Interior every year, on average, 280 crashes involve a pedestrian.
In order to protect everyone using the road, and try to prevent the annual spike in crashes involving pedestrians, ICBC has launched a pedestrian safety campaign with police to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, and the most likely to be injured if they are involved in a crash. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians in crosswalks, at intersections, and before they make a turn, avoid distractions while driving, and be ready to yield.
Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, watching for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and using designated crosswalks. High-visibility clothing, reflectors, and a light will make you more likely to be seen at dawn, dusk, and in the evening.
Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3 and 6 p.m. when many people are commuting from school and work.
“This is the time of year when police see an increasing number of crashes involving pedestrians,” says Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “We all have a part to play to make our streets safer. Drivers should know that distracted driving and failing to stop for people walking at intersections are some of the top factors in crashes with pedestrians.
“Pedestrians also need to be careful and aware. We encourage them to take out their headphones and take a break from the phone when crossing the road. Reflective gear, particularly on anything moving such as arms and legs, helps pedestrians be far more visible to drivers.”