As we head into the cloudy, damp and snowy months of October to January, ICBC is urging motorists to keep a vigilant eye out for pedestrians.
“Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way remain the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes involving pedestrians. These are dangerous driving behaviours which will not be tolerated by police,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, in a news release Tuesday.
The number of pedestrians injured in crashes nearly double between the fall and winter months, according to ICBC statistics. That’s roughly 1,120 people injured between October and January compared to 640 between May and August.
In the Lower Mainland, 2,100 crashes involve pedestrians each year. A further 370 happen on Vancouver Island, 270 in the Southern Interior and 86 in the North Central region.
ICBC’s interim vice-president Lindsay Matthews said crashes involving pedestrians spike between 3 and 6 p.m., when many are commuting home from school and work.
“Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor,” she said.
For its annual pedestrian safety campaign, ICBC and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.
ICBC is reminding motorists to take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, avoid distractions and be ready to yield. Meanwhile, pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, appearing as reflective as possible and only using designated crosswalks.