ICBC is urging drivers and pedestrians to take extra care on the roads this fall, after statistics revealed 52 pedestrians are killed on BC roads every year during fall months.
On average, 2,400 pedestrians are injured in crashes around the province between October and January every year as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease—more than half of fatalities also occur during this time.
To put that in perspective, based on a five year average, 570 pedestrians are injured between May and August.
About 79% of pedestrian crashes happen at intersections.
Majority of crashes involving pedestrians are highest between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day when many of us are commuting home with Thursday and Friday being the worst days.
Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way are the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes with pedestrians, with more than three-quarters (79%) of crashes involving pedestrians occurring at intersections.
ICBC says pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers before crossing, watch for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and use designated crosswalks.
“We’re urging both pedestrians and drivers to do their part to keep our roads safe as daylight hours decrease and weather conditions change,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing.
“It’s important for drivers to leave their phone alone and for pedestrians to stay focused on what’s going on around them,” Matthews added.
ICBC offered the following tips for both drivers and pedestrians:
Tips for drivers
- Focus on the road. Always leave your phone alone while driving
- Be ready to yield to pedestrians, especially when turning at intersections and near transit stops
- If a vehicle is stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding for a pedestrian
- Expect the unexpected, even mid-block, as pedestrians may not be crossing within a crosswalk
Tips for safe walking
- Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic and not see you
- Always use crosswalks and follow the pedestrian signs and traffic signals
- Make eye contact with drivers, as it’s hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in fall and winter. Never assume that a driver has seen you
- Remove your headphones and take a break from your phone while crossing the road
- Be as reflective as possible to make it easier for drivers to see you in wet weather, at dusk and at night