As the days get shorter and the weather worsens, it’s essential to be extra cautious on the roads, which is advised for drivers and pedestrians.
Studies show that nearly half the crashes that occur in B.C. involve pedestrians. These accidents almost always happen in the darker months, from October to January, and typically occur at intersections.
In B.C., pedestrians are 1 in 5 people killed in Motor Vehicle Accidents. On average, 2,400 pedestrians are injured, and 52 pedestrians are killed yearly 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 the lane next to you; they may be stopping for a pedestrian.
- Expect the unexpected; pedestrians may not be crossing within a designated crosswalk.
- Ensure your vehicle is prepared for fall and winter driving conditions (i.e., install winter tires, check that your windshield wipers and your climate control settings work, etc.).
What You Can Do as a Pedestrian
- Be alert at intersections, and watch for drivers turning through the crosswalk. 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 a bright-colored dress that will be visible in the dark.
Car accidents are preventable, and the more precautions you take, whether a driver or a pedestrian, the better your chance of avoiding an accident.