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October 6, 2014

Time to shift into winter

Winter Driving Safety Alliance encourages drivers to prepare themselves and their vehicles for winter

Plan Ahead Shift Into Winter Graphic

Winter is on the way to British Columbia and it is time for drivers to prepare themselves and their vehicles.

Winter is a dangerous time of year for drivers. Between October and December, on average, the number of crashes resulting in injury or fatality around the province due to driving too fast for the conditions spikes significantly.

  • Lower Mainland - Increases by 29 per cent in December compared to October ‐ approximately 64 crashes in December compared to approximately 49 in October.
  • Northern Central - Nearly doubles in December compared to October ‐ approximately 44 crashes in December compared to approximately 24 in October.
  • Southern Interior - More than triple in December compared to October ‐ approximately 97 crashes in December compared to approximately 26 in October.
  • Vancouver Island - Increases by 32 per cent in December compared to October ‐ approximately 29 crashes in December compared to approximately 22 in October.
  • British Columbia - Nearly doubles in December compared to October ‐ approximately 234 crashes in December compared to approximately 121 in October.

(Source: ICBC Annual Average Casualty Crashes due to Driving too Fast for conditions –2009-2013 Police Reported Data)

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance recently surveyed drivers in B.C. about their driving practices during winter months. 57 per cent of respondents said that they are good drivers and that other drivers are the problem.

Preparing yourself, your vehicle and adjusting your driving practices for winter weather and road conditions will make you a safer driver.

Winter tire information and other tips to help prepare for winter driving are available on the Shift Into Winter website.

Employer Toolkit Graphic

New this year, the website also includes an  Employer Tool Kit. The tool kit is a resource for employers and supervisors who have workers that drive as part of their job, or use their own vehicle for work. The tool kit will help to prepare, assess and plan for winter driving hazards and reduce the number of motor vehicle incidents.  It is an easy step- by- step guide to keep workers safe including what to do before, during and after winter.

On average 23 workers are killed and another 1,290 are injured and miss time from work each year due to work-related motor vehicle incidents (MVIs). And much like the overall provincial crash rate, more work-related vehicle crashes causing injury occur during the winter season. (Source: WorkSafeBC, BIA Datamart and ODW Snapshot 2009-2013)

Shift Into Winter is an annual road safety campaign that helps build awareness about winter weather-related driving hazards, and educates drivers about safer driving practices and behaviours whether they drive for leisure or work.


Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond -

“For a number of British Columbians, the workplace includes being on the road and that’s another reason why it is imperative for every driver in our province to be mindful of the challenges associated with winter driving. By being prepared for winter conditions, we can ensure workers get home safely to their families at the end of each day.”

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone –

“We must stop accepting traffic deaths as random tragedies. Crashes can be prevented when motorists are prepared for the challenges of driving in winter. We have webcams on all major routes in British Columbia, and I urge people to check DriveBC for conditions along their route – know before you go.”

WorkSafeBC Industry and Labour Services Manager, Mark Ordeman -

“We are all, ‘the other driver’, and we can all become better drivers. Preparing ourselves, our vehicles and driving for the conditions is how we do this.”

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 B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Justice Institute of British Columbia, B.C. Forest Safety Council, B.C. Trucking Association, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the Automotive Retailers Association, the Trucking Safety Council of B.C., and the City of Prince George.

About WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.2 million workers and more than 215,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

About Justice Institute of British Columbia 

Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator. Our specialized programs lead to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates in Policing, Investigations, Emergency Management, Firefighting, Paramedicine, Sheriffs, Corrections, Counselling, Leadership, Mediation, Conflict Resolution, and Driver Training. JIBC also provides customized contract training to domestic and international governments, agencies and organizations. Our approach to education emphasizes applied learning and realistic simulations, delivered by instructors who are experienced practitioners. Our students’ work makes communities safer, and helps people in need, throughout B.C., across Canada and around the world.

Tags: Road Safety At Work, Shift into Winter, Winter Driving Safety Alliance, WorkSafeBC

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Last updated November 20, 2014