As the days get shorter and the weather worsens, it’s important to be extra cautious on the roads. This is advised for both drivers and pedestrians.
Studies show that nearly half the crashes that occur in B.C. involve pedestrians. These accidents almost always occur in the darker months, from October to January, and typically take place at intersections.
In B.C., 1 in 5 people who are killed in Motor Vehicle Accidents are pedestrians. On average, 2,400 pedestrians are injured, and 52 pedestrians are killed every year in accidents across the province.
Those are some scary statistics, so we’ve gathered some tips to prevent being involved in an accident whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver.
Know When the Riskiest Times Are
During these darker months, crashes involving pedestrians occur most often around peak traffic times, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The most common months for motor vehicle accidents are in December and January.
Top Contributing Factors:
- Driver distractions
- Drivers’ failure to yield the right of way
What You Can Do as a Driver
- Keep your focus on the road. Do not use your cell phone while driving.
- Be ready to yield to pedestrians and cyclists! Especially at intersections and near BC transit stops.
- Be mindful of vehicles stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be stopping for a pedestrian.
- Expect the unexpected, pedestrians may not be crossing within a designated crosswalk.
- Make sure your vehicle is prepared for fall and winter driving conditions (i.e. install winter tires, check that your windshield wipers are working, check that your climate control settings work, etc.).
What You Can Do as a Pedestrian
- Be alert at intersections, watch for drivers turning through the cross walk. Drivers may not see you if they are focused on oncoming traffic.
- ALWAYS make eye contact with drivers, especially in darker months when visibility is poor. Don’t assume drivers see you.
- Always use designated crosswalks and follow pedestrian signals.
- Avoid using your cell phone and always look up when crossing the road.
- Make yourself visible by wearing reflective clothing. A reflective vest is best, or bright colored clothing that will be visible in the dark.
Car accidents are preventable, and the more precautions you take, whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian, the better chance you have at avoiding an accident.