Winter driving tips for the Family Day long weekend

Watch out for black ice, pedestrians and slick roads says ICBC.

ICBC says there are on average about 19,000 car accidents every February, with 5,700 injured and 24 dead

Environment Canada says 15 to 20 centimetres of snow is expected for the Coquihalla from Hope to Merrit this long weekend. (CBC)

People travelling this long weekend should be extra careful on the roads because of unpredictable weather throughout the province, says ICBC.

There are on average about 19,000 car accidents every February, resulting in 5,700 people injured and 24 deaths.

Drivers are encouraged to check DriveBC for road condition updates before heading out. 

Here are a few road safety tips from ICBC spokeswoman Joanna Linsangan.

Slow down

The posted speed limits are intended for ideal road conditions according to Linsangan, but much of the province will see dark, rainy and icy conditions instead this weekend.

"Really slow down — give yourself more room between your car and the car in front of you," she says.

Black ice

Black ice can form whenever the temperature falls around the freezing point and is more likely found on bridges, overpasses and around corners, Linsangan says.

If you find yourself on black ice, don't panic.

"The best thing you can do is to actually put your foot off of the gas and to steer toward where you want to go."

Watch out for pedestrians

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, say Linsangan. About one third of all car crash fatalities are pedestrians and 1,700 are injured in crashes every year.

She suggests wearing reflective gear at night and making eye contact with the driver before stepping out onto the road, even if you are at a designated crosswalk.

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