British Columbia

ICBC warns of seasonal spike in pedestrian injuries from vehicles

ICBC launches a month-long safety campaign, warning drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other.

Month-long safety campaign reminds drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other

ICBC's month-long campaign wants to communicate to drivers and pedestrians that more can be done to reduce accidents. (JopsStock/Shutterstock)

According to ICBC, injuries to pedestrians nearly double in the fall and winter months, which has prompted the Crown corporation to launch a month-long safety campaign, warning drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other. 

"About half the crashes happen this time of year, and really it's because the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting, you know it's getting poor visibility, it's raining or snowing, or foggy," said ICBC spokesperson, Aileen Shibata. "So it's just a good time to get out and remind everybody that there's things that they can be doing to keep pedestrians safe."

On average, ICBC says 1,120 pedestrians are injured every year in B.C. from October to January. That's almost twice the 640 people injured between May and August. 

ICBC says crashes involving pedestrians occur most often at intersections, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

It says the top contributing factors of crashes are driver distraction, drivers failing to yield the right of way, and the weather.

"I think we, as a society, we're running late, we're in a hurry, we're distracted, we're stressed out about certain things. And driving seems to take kind of a back seat if you will … We can't have that, we need people when they're driving to be observant," said North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong.

Tips for drivers

  • Leave your phone alone while driving.
  • If a car is stopped in front of you or in the neighbouring lane, they could be yielding to a crossing pedestrian.
  • Always yield to pedestrians.
  • Have your lights on to increase visibility, regardless of the time of day. 
  • When approaching an intersection, scan left to right for pedestrians. 

Tips for pedestrians

  • Never assume that a driver can see you.
  • Make eye contact with drivers.
  • Wear reflective clothing or accessories.
  • Remove your headphones and stay off your phone when crossing the street.
  • Always cross at designated crosswalks.
  • Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals. 

ICBC and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and sharing safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas for the month of October.

Reflectors will also be available at most community policing stations. 

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