It's a combination that Vancouver Police say is dangerous this time of year for pedestrians and cyclists: early darkness and rain.

"Weather is always a factor when we look at collisions. It will always play a role, especially at night time," said Cst. Brian Montague who speaks for the VPD.

So far this year, nine pedestrians have died after being involved in collisions on the road in the city.

The latest involved an 18-year-old woman who was crossing the intersection of Victoria Drive and Marine Drive on November 4.

"It was kind of drizzly out, it was also foggy," said Montague.

Challenges

Driving instructors like Neil Prissick say those conditions present an extra visibility challenge for motorists.

"Pretty awful," he said. "It's dark, it's rainy, it's very hard to see, even across the road."

"The typical habit is that when a driver is approaching, especially in this type of weather ... is that they look straight ahead," he added.

"If they just looked a little bit to their left and to their right, they would see the pedestrians a lot sooner."

Engineering can help

Meanwhile, U.S.-based transportation engineer, Richard Retting, spoke to the CBC about how planning measures, like road widths, lighting and even speed cameras — not currently used in B.C. — can help reduce collisions.

Advocates say while drivers need to do their part, pedestrians and cyclists can also do more to make themselves seen.

"So there's 3 things that are really important," said Cory Somerville who is a bike safety specialist for Mountain Equipment Co-op:

  • High-coloured, high-visibility clothing,
  • Reflective materials.
  • Lights.

"And the last thing I would add is awareness," he added.

Constant watch

That means keeping a constant watch on where you are going and not being distracted by mobile phones or anything that can take your attention away from the road says Somerville.

HUB Your Cycling Connection offers cycling courses for safety while on two wheels, meanwhile ICBC has been promoting a new pedestrian safety campaign for the past year.

It says on average in B.C., 58 pedestrians are killed and 2,400 injured in crashes every year.

with files from the CBC's Kamil Karamali