Easter long weekend is here, the weather is getting nicer, and hitting the road to see family and friends is on the agenda. It’s really important that you get to where you’re going safely (especially because there’s wintery driving conditions on a few of our highways).
Every year, over the Easter holiday, an average of three people are killed and 670 injured in 2,300 crashes throughout BC. That’s not good.
- Be prepared: Weather conditions can change suddenly at this time of year, especially when travelling over long distances and in high elevations. Check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca which features over 400 webcam views throughout the province.
- Get a tune-up: Remember to check the engine oil, washer fluid and lights. Take a look at your vehicle’s tires, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated. Keep winter tires on vehicles until April 30, if driving mountain passes as indicated on the maps found here.
- Stay alert: Be realistic about travel times and plan rest stops at least every two hours to avoid becoming fatigued while driving. Fatigue slows a driver’s reaction time, decreases awareness and affects their judgment.
- Put phones away: Turn off cell phones or store them out of reach to avoid the temptation. Research shows five seconds of texting at highway speeds is like driving blindfolded for almost the length of an entire football field.
- Be sober: The risk of being in a fatal crash is, on average, seven times greater at a blood alcohol content (BAC) between .05 and .08, compared with driving sober. Let someone else drive or make alternate arrangements to avoid drinking and driving.
- Obey the limit: Speed is BC’s number one road safety problem, being the most common factor in all fatal crashes. The faster you drive over the limit, the higher the fine. In the case of excessive speeding — travelling at more than 40 km an hour over the speed limit — you’ll be fined $368 and have three penalty points added to your driving record. (Drivers going 60 km an hour or more are fined $483 and also get three penalty points).
- Share the road: Warmer weather encourages more motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists to hit the road. Give other road users the time and space to reach their destinations safely.
If you’d like to learn more about conditions before you drive or a bit of background on driver safety, here’s a handy resource list:
- DriveBC: Get information about road and weather conditions:
- Distractions while driving – cell phones and other electronic devices:
- Excessive speeding and careless driving
- Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) Penalties
- And you can always connect with us on Twitter: @TranBC or the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles at @RoadSafetyBC
Have any tips you’d like to share?