North of 100 Mile House, 20 people are injured in 120 crashes over the Labour Day long weekend each year. ICBC, RCMP and B.C. government are all urging drivers to take extra precaution this weekend and plan ahead to leave extra time.
“We all need to make smart driving decisions this long weekend to keep B.C. roads safe so follow the posted speed limit and maintain a safe travelling distance,” says Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “You may think that by speeding, you’re cutting down on your travel time but what you’re really doing is decreasing your reaction time and putting everyone on the road at risk. Police will be out across the province looking for unsafe drivers.”
ICBC’s has the following tips for a safe summer road trip:
- Pre-trip check: Check your engine oil, coolant levels and lights, and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they’re in good condition and properly inflated. Make sure any camping or outdoor equipment is securely tied down to your vehicle before you take off.
- RVs in your way: You’ll likely spot many recreational vehicles on the highways this weekend. If you’re driving in mountainous areas, you may find that many RV’s are driving below the speed limit because they may be underpowered and overloaded. Be patient with these drivers as they are likely going uphill as fast as they can. If you’re driving your RV this weekend, be courteous and pull over to let others by if you’re holding up traffic. This is much safer than a driver making an unsafe pass out of frustration.
- Stay alert: The warm weather we’re experiencing combined with long drives can be a dangerous combination. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and take rest breaks every 1.5 to 2 hours to avoid driver fatigue. Fatigue slows your reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgment. Even a slight decrease in reaction time can greatly increase your risk of crashing especially when travelling at highway speeds.
- Eliminate distractions: Plan ahead to avoid being distracted while driving – turn off your cellphone before you head out or put it in the trunk so you won’t be tempted to answer if it rings. Help keep your family and friends safe by not texting, calling or answering if you know someone is behind the wheel.
- Keep your distance: Always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles. Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good weather and road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you’re behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping distance.