Thanksgiving is one of the more dangerous long weekends in B.C., with an average of 2,200 crashes between 6 p.m. on the Friday prior to the holiday and midnight on Monday.
And in the Lower Mainland, an average of 1,400 crashes saw 520 people injured during Thanksgiving weekend over the past five years.
That’s according to data compiled by ICBC, which is warning drivers to be careful on the roads as the holiday weekend approaches.
While it’s only a few weeks into fall, snow is already covering many parts of the province. Drivers throughout B.C. are required to have winter tires or chains on their vehicles as of Oct. 1 on many of the province’s highways — including Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton and most highways throughout the southern interior.
Read on for some tips to stay safe if you plan to hit the road this weekend:
- Plan your route ahead of time. Make sure to check road conditions on drivebc.ca and the weather forecast before you get behind the wheel. Given heavier traffic on long weekends, make sure to give yourself extra travel time.
- Check your tires. Winter tires and chains are now required on many B.C. highways. Make sure your tires also have adequate tread and are properly inflated.
- Slow down on wet roads. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet, slippery roads or on roads covered with leaves. Remember that posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions.
- Put your phone away. Focus on the road, minimize distractions and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Daylight steadily decreases with each day in October, and it can be difficult to see pedestrians and cyclists, especially around intersections.