It should come as no surprise that winter is coming to British Columbia, and WorkSafeBC is trying to get people to think about preparing themselves and their vehicles for the season, which brings with it treacherous driving conditions. Based on statistics, winter is simply the most dangerous time of year for all types of drivers. WorkSafeBC the notes that the number of injury or fatal crashes that are caused by driving too fast for conditions present tends to spike in December every year.
To back this up, WorkSafeBC said that every area of the province sees roughly the same type of spike. For example, Vancouver Island sees these types of crashes increase by 32% in December when compared to October, while the Southern Interior region sees the number of such crashes triple, from 26 in October to 97 in December. Province-wide, there are usually about 121 crashes in October, compared to 234 crashes in December.
Recently, the Winter Driving Safety Alliance conducted a survey throughout British Columbia, asking respondents about their driving habits during the winter. Not surprisingly, 57 per cent consider themselves to be good drivers, and cited other drivers as the big problem.
Because it’s an issue of life or death, WorkSafeBC believes everyone should be preparing themselves for driving in winter, and they should also want to keep their vehicle in good shape. To help drivers do that, WorkSafeBC has tips to help everyone prepare for winter driving on their Shift Into Winter website. And for the first time, the website has included an Employer Tool Kit, which is designed as a resource for employers and supervisors of workers who have to drive as part of their job. With the tool kit, employers and supervisors will have step-by-step assistance in helping them assess and plan for dealing with winter driving hazards and quite possibly reduce the number of traffic accidents.
Every year, on average, 23 workers are killed and nearly 1,300 others suffer injuries that cause them to miss time from work each year because of work-related motor vehicle incidents (MVIs). Unfortunately, most of those come during the winter months. The Shift Into Winter road safety campaign hopes to build awareness and educate drivers about winter weather-related driving hazards and how to avoid them.