People are reminded to stay safe this winter season by preparing themselves and their vehicles for driving. Use good winter tires. Plan ahead. Slow down. Drive to conditions.
On average, each year in B.C., the number of fatal crashes caused by driving too fast for conditions doubles in December, compared to October — 246 crashes in December 2017, compared to 123 in October. The winter months of November, December and January are a particularly dangerous time for people who drive for work, with nearly 28% of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occurring during these months.
Starting Oct. 1, drivers were required to equip their vehicles with winter tires (mountain/snowflake or M+S) with a minimum 3.5 millimetre tread depth, and commercial vehicles were required to carry chains. Tires marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall offer the best traction on snow and ice and in cold weather.
Winter tire regulations end on March 31 on many highways. However, this year the regulations have been extended to April 30 on select mountain passes and rural highways, to account for early spring snowfall.
Tips for safe winter driving
- Plan the route ahead of time — Check current highway and weather conditions on DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter. Delay travel if conditions are unsafe.
- Invest in winter driving training – Learn how to brake safely, how to get out of a skid and how cars handle in winter weather.
- Slow down – The posted speed limit is the maximum speed under ideal driving conditions, so when inclement weather hits, slow down and drive with extra care.
- Be prepared – Bring suitable clothing, emergency supplies and a fully charged cellphone in case of travel delays or a motor vehicle incident.
- Winter Driving Safety Alliance and the Shift Into Winter campaign
- Find out where winter tires or chains are required (For Sooke, it’s anything west of of West Coast Road at Grant.)
- B.C. drivers urged to Shift Into Winter
- ICBC survey: half of drivers using winter tires this year
- DRIVING: Seeing is half the secret; the other half is being seen
- Stuck behind a snow plow? Here’s what you should do
- Message from Mainroad South: Roads are serviced on a priority basis
- Clear your windshield or pay this fine
- Good to Know cold weather trick: Defrost your car window in less than a minute
- DRIVING: ICBC advises drivers on the South Coast to adapt to winter road conditions
- DRIVING: Black ice
- Good to Know: What you need to know about black ice and driving
- Winter driving tips
- BCStorm Tracker
- Some more information about winter tires