Every year over the Labour Day long weekend, an average of four people are killed and 560 injured in 1,900 crashes across the province. Driver distractions, speed and impaired driving are the top contributing factors in Labour Day long weekend casualty crashes.
Here are some safety tips to think about before heading off for the long weekend, brought to you from ICBC:
- Pre-trip check: Make sure any camping or outdoor equipment is securely tied down to your vehicle before you take off. Check your engine oil, coolant levels and lights, and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they’re in good condition and properly inflated.
- Pack an emergency kit. 70 per cent of those surveyed keep an emergency kit in their vehicle. Follow their lead and pack yours with essentials such as food and water, a flashlight, first aid kit, booster cable and emergency signal cone.
- Assign a designated texter: If you need to keep in touch with family or friends during the drive, ask your passengers to make or receive calls and texts for you. If you have to take a call, pull over when it’s safe to do so or use your phone in hands-free mode. If you know someone is behind the wheel, avoid texting, calling or answering to help keep them safe.
- RVs: You’ll likely spot many recreational vehicles on the highways this weekend. If you’re driving in mountainous areas, you may find that many RV’s are driving below the speed limit because they may be underpowered and overloaded. Be patient with these drivers as they are likely going uphill as fast as they can. If you’re driving your RV this weekend, be courteous and pull over to let others by if you’re holding up traffic. This is much safer than a driver making an unsafe pass out of frustration.
- Stay alert: 61 per cent of survey respondents said they feel tired at least sometimes when driving long distances. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and take rest breaks every 1.5 to 2 hours to avoid driver fatigue. Fatigue slows your reaction time and even a slight decrease in reaction time can greatly increase your risk of crashing especially when travelling at highway speeds.
- Keep your distance: Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you’re behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping distance.