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‘Take your time’: Increased traffic could mean increased crashes on May Long weekend

The unofficial start to summer is this weekend, so ICBC is reminding people to be careful with the extra traffic expected.

“In the summer, there is lots of traffic, says ICBC Road Safety Coordinator, Christine Kirby. “Everybody’s come out of their winter slumber and they’re out on the road to head to the lake or the cabin or whatever.”

She mentions that the warmer weather can actually fatigue you.

“It gets pretty hot outside,” says Kirby. “It does make us tired and a little sleepy when we’re driving. We have to make sure that we have lots of water and pay attention to our own needs. Maybe we need to make a stop.”

Kirby says you’ve got to watch out for different types of seasonal vehicles when you’re out on the roads.

“RVs go a bit slower up the hill and they take up a bit more space in the lane, so be patient with them,” says Kirby. “Watch for motorcycles. They have a quick pickup and it’s hard to see them sometimes. So just make extra caution when you’re driving around on the highway for other types of vehicles.”

The corporation says that over the May Long weekend on average two people are killed and 480 people are injured in 1,800 crashes across the province. That includes 61 injured in 260 crashes on Vancouver Island.

The nicer weather of summer generally comes with good road conditions. Kirby warns how speed is a top factor in most of those crashes.

“We’re just out there reminding drivers that speed does kill,” she says. “We want to make sure that everyone gets to where they’re going. So, slow down. Take your time. Be patient with people and look out for your speed.”

ICBC is running its speed campaign in coordination with the police’s seasonal enforcement effort. They say even a small reduction in speed can make a significant difference as speed is the leading cause of car crash fatalities in the province.

“The police are out there doing their thing reminding drivers to not be speeding on the highway,” she says. “Take your time, give yourself lots of time to get where you’re going, and just enjoy the day.”

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