Okanagan drivers in a 'fog'
Oct 23, 2013 / 12:00 pm
Snow, alcohol, rain, ice, drugs, distracted driving are the usual suspects behind most vehicle accidents, but as it turns out fog causes a lot of damage every year as well.
Fog often makes the news for all the cancelled flights and airport delays but, according to ICBC, the truth of the matter is that several people loose their lives every year in BC due to fog related accidents.
And even though we aren't right beside the ocean and don't see the fog Vancouver does, there are on average 130 accidents every year in the Southern Interior and one death that can be blamed on the cloudy menace.
Fog, like many other 'road condition' issues, requires you to slow down and drive for the conditions and more importantly the lack of visibility.
According to ICBC, every year in October an average of 28 people are injured or killed in crashes in the Southern Interior due to driving too fast for the conditions. That number more than triples to 97 in December as driving conditions worsen
Seven out of 10 speed-related crashes in BC are caused by driving too fast for the road conditions, such as in rainy, icy, foggy or snowy weather. Throughout November, police and Speed Watch volunteers across BC are asking drivers to slow down and adjust their speed for the conditions.
“In the Southern Interior, drivers often encounter snow, ice and darker conditions at this time of year,” said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Don’t be foolish and think that you don’t need to adjust your driving for the conditions. Slow down, increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions only.”
Here are ICBC’s tips to help you stay safe this fall and winter:
- When ice or snow hits: Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly. Early in the season, make sure yourtires are rated for the conditions you may be driving in and check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.
- Consider alternatives: When heavy winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives to help you get to work safely – take transit, work from home or adjust your hours of work to avoid rush hour traffic.
- If heavy rain hits: Heavy rain can seriously reduce visibility and make road surfaces more difficult to stop on. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and increase your following distance to at least four seconds so that you have time to stop if you need to.
- Planning a trip: If you’re travelling to an area you’re not familiar with, it’s important to check the road conditions for your entire route so you can prepare your vehicle for the weather you may encounter. Many highways in B.C. require drivers to use winter tires or chains from October 1 to April 30. Visit the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s website to see if they’re required for your route and learn how to properly use chains.
Crashes in Fog, 2008-2012, ICBC and police data
|Southern Interior||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||5 year average|
|B.C. Total||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||5 year average|
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