Road and weather conditions change quickly during winter. Drivers should be prepared to adjust their driving behaviour to match the conditions and address potential hazards.
On average, each year in British Columbia, the number of casualty crashes due to driving too fast for conditions doubles in December compared to October – approximately 236 crashes in December compared to approximately 117 in October (ICBC Annual Average Casualty Crashes due to Driving too Fast for Conditions 2011-2015 police reported data).
This trend extends to those who drive for work. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace death, and more crashes causing worker injury or death occur between October and February (WorkSafeBC, 2016).
“Every morning hundreds of BC workers get out of bed and get into vehicles to drive our roads…delivery vans, transports, buses and tow trucks. Driving is their job. We know that workers are more at risk of injury when they drive for work during the winter months because driving conditions are more extreme,” said WorkSafeBC Vice President, Prevention Services, Al Johnson. “Organizations can prepare now for that heightened risk by putting together a winter driving safety program and communicating it effectively to their staff.”
Be part of the solution:
- Slow down to a safe speed. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
- Install four matched winter tires that display the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. Winter tires, or all-weather tires, offer the best traction for faster stopping time and shorter stopping distance in cold weather, snow, rain and on ice. In all conditions winter tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.
- For employers and supervisors, the Winter Driving Safety online course and Tool Kit on the Shift Into Winter website provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter driving safety program.
Even the most confident and seasoned drivers are at risk when winter road and weather conditions change. Whether you drive for work or leisure now is the time to prepare.
Between October 1 and March 31, most B.C. highways require passenger vehicles to have 3-peak mountain snowflake tires and commercial vehicles to carry chains.
For more information about what you can do to be a safer driver this winter, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.
Category: Workplace Wellness