Adjust your driving for winter conditions

ICBC says speed-related accidents triple from October to December

According to stats from ICBC, the number of crashes caused by people driving too fast for road conditions almost triples from October to December.

For those who do the commute between Cranbrook and Kimberley, or out to the pulp mill in Skookumchuk, here’s something to think about — speeding is the leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. On average, 47 people are killed each year in the Southern Interior in speed-related crashes.

Each October there are an average of 33 crashes resulting in injuries or death in the Southern Interior region due to people driving too fast for the conditions. That number more than triples in December to 109 as the driving conditions worsen.

“Police remind motorists to make sure they drive to the conditions,” said Cpl. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP Detachment. “There are a large number of commuters that travel between Kimberley and Cranbrook everyday. This is most evident in the early morning and late afternoon. The conditions during these times can be different than the rest of the day. In the morning, overnight snowfalls and lower temperatures can leave the road very slippery. In the afternoon as the sun sets, the temperature gets lower causing a film of ice to form on the road.  Drive accordingly. Leave yourself time to get to your destination, don’t rush. Better you get home 10 minutes later than not at all.”

To help drivers avoid rushing and encourage them to slow down this winter, ICBC, the province and police are running a speed awareness education and enforcement campaign until the end of November.

In the last five years, 578 people have been killed in car crashes in the Southern Interior, with an average of 116 people killed every year.