The days are getting shorter, the nights longer. There’s often rain pelting down, or snow piling up, and people are hunkered down, sometimes not paying as much attention as they should to the world around them.
All of the above, and more, are factors in the annual ‘spike’ in traffic accidents involving pedestrians between the months of November and January.
ICBC has launched its annual safety campaign, along with the B.C. Coroners Service, the B.C. government and police urging pedestrians and drivers to do their parts to stay safe.
A stark statistic should convince most of us that more due care and attention is needed at this time of year. Almost two times more pedestrians are injured in crashes from November to January compared to June to August as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.
The top contributing factors attributed to drivers in crashes with pedestrians are: distraction, failure to yield the right of way and weather. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, avoid distractions and be ready to yield.
Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, wearing bright and reflective clothing, and staying focused on the road.
“As drivers, we need to quit making excuses for not seeing pedestrians by staying focused on our driving. As pedestrians, it’s critical that we do what we can to be seen by drivers,” said B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone.
For those who get into trouble simply because they think they have the right-of-way and don’t need to pay attention, Dr. Kelly Barnard, director of the medical unit at the B.C. Coroners Service has a word of advice.
“Regardless of who is legally in the right in cases where a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, it’s always the pedestrian who suffers the most catastrophic consequences,” he said.
That’s obvious; or should be.