Friday, May 17, 2024

ICBC launches refresher course for drivers as crashes hit all-time high


Vehicle crashes have hit an all-time high in B.C., according to statistics released by ICBC.

A total of 350,000 crashes occurred in 2017, a 24 per cent increase since 2014. That works works out to about 960 crashes per day across the province—40 crashes per hour.

In Vancouver Island, there were 46,000 crashes last year, continuing a steady year-after-year increase since 2013. (ICBC did not have specific data for the Greater Victoria at time of writing.)

A new survey conducted by Insights West for ICBC’s Drive Smart road safety campaign showed that the persistence of bad driving habits is an issue for B.C. drivers; 75 per cent of respondents admitting to displaying bad habits on the road.

The survey also showed bad driving habits as a source of frustration for drivers, with sixty per cent of respondents believing drivers are worse today than five years ago.

The source of those bad habits? ICBC thinks it might just be a loss of knowledge; two-fifths of drivers admitted that there are rules of the road they’ve probably forgotten.

Free online tool will refresh drivers

To ensure drivers are up to date on proper driving habits, ICBC is launching the Drive Smart Refresher Test.

The refresher is free to anyone, and asks some simple multiple choice questions about signage, speed limits, making emergency calls, and other rules.

“Our results show that drivers are hungry for resources to help them become better drivers,” said Mario Canseco, spokesperson for Insights West.

“They recognize that there’s room for improvement when it comes to refining their knowledge and shedding those bad habits behind the wheel.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s interim vice-president, said everyone has a responsibility to keep roads safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.

“Not only will safer driving help to reduce crashes, it helps to ensure that customers are paying the lowest possible amount for their premiums,” she added.

Myles Sauer
Former staff editor and writer at Victoria Buzz.

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