Get ready for winter driving conditions
Winter road and weather conditions change quickly. So should your driving
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).
Be part of the solution:
- Slow down to a safe speed. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
- Install 4 matched winter tires that display the 3-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.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond -
“Whether you drive to and from work, or spend much of your job on the road, every driver needs to be prepared for changeable and often challenging winter driving conditions. Being aware of the weather and planning for winter road conditions can mean the difference between a tragedy and getting home safely to your family at the end of the day.”
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone –
“Winter poses unique travel and road maintenance challenges in B.C. One of our goals is to help keep drivers informed, prepared and travelling safely in winter conditions. We encourage drivers to be mindful of changing weather conditions, and regulate their speed accordingly, especially on high mountain passes and interior highways where conditions can change from rain to snow very quickly. ”
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Morris –
“Unpredictable winter driving conditions means everyone has to be extra careful when they’re on the roads. Snow squalls and icy conditions can challenge any driver. Do your part, don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted – it will cost you. In 2015 alone, driver inattention contributed to at least 88 deaths in B.C. Make the safe, smart decision so all British Columbians get to their destination safely.”
RCMP "E" Division Traffic Services Officer in Charge, Supt Derek Cooke -
"Everyone on our roads and highways are trying to get to their destinations safely. British Columbia has unique terrain, and weather and road conditions that can change quickly. If we all plan ahead, give ourselves extra time to reach our destination, and have the proper equipment on our vehicles we can prevent unnecessary collisions, and ensure that everyone arrives alive."
ICBC President and CEO, Mark Blucher –
“During fall and winter, drivers need to adjust their driving for the road conditions they encounter, allow extra travel time and ensure their vehicle is properly equipped for every trip. For the safety of everyone on our roads, slow down, increase your following distance to at least four seconds and use extra caution – especially when approaching intersections. Anything drivers can do to avoid crashes will help reduce claims costs and the pressure on insurance rates.”
WorkSafeBC Vice President, Prevention Services, Al Johnson –
“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. Organizations can prepare now for that heightened risk by putting together a winter driving safety program and communicating it effectively to their staff with the online resources from Shift into Winter. Being prepared can save lives.”
About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance
The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is a joint provincial initiative comprised of organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months. They are the Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE 873, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Mainroad Group, B.C. Forest Safety Council, B.C. Trucking Association, Finning, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Kal Tire, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the Automotive Retailers Association, the Trucking Safety Council of B.C., the City of Prince George, and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.
About Justice Institute of British Columbia
Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator with a mission to develop dynamic justice and public safety professionals through its exceptional applied education, training and research. JIBC offers internationally recognized education that leads to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates; exceptional continuing education for work and career-related learning and development; and customized contract training to government agencies and private organizations worldwide. Our education provides professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel at every stage of their career contributing to safer communities and a more just society.
Last updated February 16, 2017