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ICBC advising motorists to be aware of drowsiness in summer heat during long weekend road trips

VANCOUVER, B.C. – As the August long weekend approaches, ICBC is advising motorists to be aware of higher summer temperatures contributing to the rise in driver fatigue-related crashes.

The Crown Corporation says that fatigue-related crashes typically peak in August, with an average of one person killed and 88 people injured in 110 crashes during the month. This despite the fact that driver fatigue is underreported.

In the North Central region, on average, two people are killed and 92 are injured in 110 crashes involving driver fatigue every year. During August, an average of 14 people are injured in 16 crashes.

Hot summer weather and long drives can be a dangerous combination that can cause fatigue.

Every year in B.C. over the past six years, roughly 600 people are injured and three are killed in 2,200 crashes across the province during the B.C. Day long weekend. In the North Central region, there are an average of 130 crashes that injure 25 people every year over the August long weekend.

Driving while fatigued can be just as deadly as driving while distracted or impaired.

ICBC has a number of tips from drivers, including:

Travel in the morning. Drivers are prone to drowsy driving in the late-afternoon and at night when the body’s circadian rhythm dips. Avoid driving during the night when you’d normally be asleep.

As soon as you become sleepy, stop driving. Let a passenger drive or pull over when it’s safe, turn off your car and take a nap. The only cure for sleepiness is sleep. Opening a window, blasting the air conditioning or turning on music are not effective ways to keep you awake while driving.

Leave enough following distance to give yourself time to react in case another driver on the road is impaired by fatigue. You can also look for warning signs such as a vehicle wandering out of its lane or its speed creeping up and down.

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