EDITORIAL: Weekend road safety

Care and attention are needed to prevent long weekend accidents on roads and highways

This coming weekend will be a busy one for motorists on British Columbia’s roads and highways.

The Labour Day weekend marks the last long weekend of the summer and it is a time when individuals and families get away before the busy fall season begins.

It’s also the time when many college and university students are on the roads as they return to their classrooms.

Because of the extra volume of traffic, it is important for motorists to drive carefully on this weekend.

An accident on a busy highway or at an intersection on a city street could have some serious consequences.

Transport Canada’s National Collision Data Base has collected data on motor vehicle collisions in Canada.

READ ALSO: Traffic once moved at a slower pace

READ ALSO: LETTER: Summerland needs traffic control measures

The figures from 2017 — the most recent year for which data is available — showed 1,841 deaths and 9,960 serious injuries that year.

The total number of all injuries was 154,886 in 2017.

While these numbers showed reductions from previous years, the statistics are still significant and should show the need for caution and safe driving on the roads at all times.

Efforts have been made to improve road safety.

These include provincial and national campaigns to discourage impaired driving and distracted driving.

But despite the successes of these initiatives, impaired driving and distracted driving are still factors in motor vehicle accidents.

The B.C. Coroners Service statistics show drugs or alcohol involvement was a contributing factor in 34 per cent of deaths from motor vehicle accidents.

For younger drivers, this figure rises to more than 50 per cent.

According to ICBC statistics from 2016, 27 per cent of fatal accidents in British Columbia were due to distracted driving.

Such figures are far too high.

The coming weekend will be a busy time on our roads and highways, but with proper care and attention, the long weekend can also be a safe one.

— Black Press

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