ICBC urges caution as pedestrian injuries increase

Vancouver, BC (Oct. 17, 2018) – Almost double the number of pedestrians are injured in crashes from October to January as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.*

That’s why ICBC is launching a pedestrian safety campaign with police and TransLink to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes with pedestrians spike at this time of year.

The safety of pedestrians is a serious concern in B.C. – they’re the most vulnerable road users and face risk of serious injury when a crash occurs. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, especially near transit stops; avoid distractions and be ready to yield.

Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, watching for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and using designated crosswalks.

ICBC, TransLink and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.

This year’s campaign reminds drivers: You see pedestrians when you really look for them.

“This is the time of year when police see an increasing number of crashes involving pedestrians,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “We all have a part to play to make our streets safer. Drivers should know that distracted driving and failing to stop for people walking at intersections are some of the top factors in crashes with pedestrians. Pedestrians also need to be careful and aware. We encourage them to take out their headphones and take a break from the phone when crossing the road. Reflective gear, particularly on anything moving such as arms and legs, helps pedestrians be far more visible to drivers.”

“Everyone needs to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially at this time of year when daylight hours are decreasing and weather conditions are changing,” said Derek Stewart, TransLink Director of Safety and Emergency Management. “Pedestrians should never assume that they can be seen, even when using a crosswalk. Step out onto the street only when there’s certainty that it’s safe to do so. It’s vital that we all work together to avoid accidents or injuries involving pedestrians.”

“Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing. “Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3pm and 6pm every day, when most of us are commuting home from school and work. Please focus on the road and leave your phone alone. It’s time we all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”

ICBC has tips for pedestrians and drivers to learn more about staying safe this winter.

Regional statistics

  • In the Lower Mainland every year, on average, 2,300 crashes involve a pedestrian.
  • On Vancouver Island every year, on average, 390 crashes involve a pedestrian.
  • In the Southern Interior every year, on average, 280 crashes involve a pedestrian.
  • In the North Central region every year, on average, 87 crashes involve a pedestrian.

Editor’s note: Pedestrian involved crash statistics for B.C. communities are available upon request.


Facts behind pedestrian crashes (ICBC)

Notes about the data

* In B.C., 1,200 pedestrians are injured in crashes between October and January and 670 pedestrians are injured between May and August. ICBC data based on five year average from 2014 to 2018.

ICBC data based on five year average from 2014 to 2018.

About the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is a provincial Crown corporation established in 1973 to provide universal auto insurance to B.C. motorists. We’re also responsible for driver licensing, and vehicle licensing and registration.

SOURCE: Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

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