Shift Into Winter

Richmond, B.C. / October 7, 2013 When it comes to winter, the number of casualty crashes in December, involving driving too fast for the conditions, almost doubles compared to October. According to a five-year average for the province (2007-2011), the number jumps from 149 in October to 289 in December.

The spike in the number of casualty crashes is even higher in specific areas of the province. In the Southern Interior, the number more than triples from an average of 33 incidents in October to 109 in December.

  • Lower Mainland: Crashes increase 46 per cent from about 61 in October to 89 in December.
  • Northern Central: Crashes more than double from about 24 in October to 50 in December.
  • Southern Interior: Crashes more than triple from about 33 in October to 109 in December.
  • Vancouver Island: Crashes increase 36 per cent from about 30 in October to 41 in December.

(ICBC Casualty Crashes by Contributing Factor. Driving Too Fast for the Conditions 2007 – 2011 Police Reported Data)

Snow, ice, rain, and fog are just a few of the challenging conditions on winter roads. Drivers need to take extra care by checking the weather before heading out. If you have to go: Prepare yourself. Prepare your vehicle. Drive for the conditions. Simply scraping your windshield isn’t enough. Winter driving requires specific knowledge and preparation.

WorkSafeBC, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Winter Driving Safety Alliance urge drivers to check the facts about winter driving safety and shift into winter driving mode. Make sure your vehicle is winter-ready and always drive for the conditions.

To test your winter driving knowledge and separate the facts from the myths, visit or for tips, along with current weather and road conditions.

“Winter weather and driving conditions in B.C. are unpredictable, especially in the mountains, where conditions can change in a matter of minutes,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “Drivers should check the DriveBC website for real-time road and weather conditions before setting out. Whether you’re driving for pleasure or work, it’s important to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for winter conditions.”

“It’s important for all of us to remember that for many people, the workplace includes being on the road,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour. “That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the challenges associated with winter driving. If we’re prepared for winter conditions, we can ensure we
all get home safely at the end of the day.”

“The road safety numbers clearly show that it's more important than ever for drivers to be aware of the danger of winter road conditions," says Mark Ordeman, WorkSafeBC Industry and Labour Services Manager. "Whether it's driving for work or leisure, all motorists need to be winter-ready. That means preparing themselves, as well as their vehicles."

About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is a joint provincial initiative comprised of organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months. They are the BC Forest Safety Council, BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, BC Trucking Association, Insurance Corporation of BC, Justice Institute of BC, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, the Trucking Safety Council of BC and WorkSafeBC.

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Shift Into Winter