(Ethan Morneau/Victoria Buzz)

ICBC claims have surged across the province after winter-like conditions swept across BC over the past week. 

Snowfall, ice, winds and multiple severe weather warnings struck Victoria and much of the west coast over the past week with more weather patterns on the way.

ICBC reported an increase of insurance claims by up to 94% on the south coast of BC.

On Tuesday November 29th, there were 3,567 claims as compared to the previous Tuesday, before the snow, when they had 1,837 reported. 


Slippery conditions like those Vancouver Island experienced over the last week make the daily commute difficult, slow and more dangerous. 

ICBC warned that more snow is on the way in the coming days, as does Environment Canada. 

“Snow mixed with rain ending late in the morning then cloudy with rain showers beginning in the afternoon,” according to Environment Canada’s Friday, December 2nd forecast. 

Only approximately two centimetres of snow is expected for Greater Victoria, but up Highways 1 and 17, weather conditions can change quickly and drastically, leading to dangerous roads. 


Here are live updates of current road conditions on southern Vancouver Island (PHOTOS)

To try to reduce the amount of claims and collisions in the coming days of more wind and snow, ICBC recommends the following tips for driving in the snow.

  • Equip your vehicle: 
    • Put winter tires on your vehicle as soon as you can, if you haven’t already. In BC, these are defined as having both the “M” and the “S” symbols for mud and snow conditions
    • Have an emergency kit in your vehicle
    • Have a snow and ice scraper in your vehicle to fully be able to clear your vehicle of visual obstructions
  • Take it slow:
    • ICBC says that the key to driving in the snow is to take your journey slow and steady. 
    • Accelerate slowly and make your turns gradually–no sudden movements
    • Anticipate stops and turns well in advance keeping your foot on the brake pedal 
  • Patience is a virtue:
    • Check up to date road conditions on Victoria’s most travelled roads
    • Don’t try and pass snow plows in urban areas or on highways. These vehicles might be equipped with a wing blade not visible to passing vehicles
  • Awareness is key: 
    • When temperatures with windchill factored in get below freezing, be aware of black ice which is not always readily visible 
    • Be extra aware of cyclists and pedestrians around you
  • Consider not driving:
    • If possible work from home on severe weather days
    • Take public transit when possible or a taxi
    • Avoid any unnecessary trips


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