As experienced Vancouver car accident lawyers, we know that winter conditions such as rain, snow, slush, ice, and fog dramatically increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents, making driving during winter more challenging and dangerous. A driver’s chances of being injured or killed in a crash dramatically increase during British Columbia’s winter driving season, which runs from October 1 to March 31.
The increase in winter accidents results in an increase in ICBC claims. As car accident lawyers in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we see the direct impact that winter conditions have on the number and severity of car accident claims. We drew from the knowledge we have developed as seasoned Vancouver car accident lawyers to produce this list of top winter driving tips:
1. Adjust for conditions. Road and weather conditions change quickly during winter. In British Columbia, the average number of crashes in which someone is killed or injured due to driving too fast for road conditions nearly doubles from fall to early winter – from 117 in October to 236 in December. To deal with rapidly changing winter conditions, remember two key tips: reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Keep in mind that posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
2. Use winter tires when required. Certain highways in British Columbia require the use of winter tires from October 1 to March 31. Signs are posted on these designated highways to advise drivers that winter tires are required. As Vancouver car accident lawyers, we know that if you get in a crash where winter tires could have helped, not having them may affect whether or how much you are at fault.
3. Beware of the dark. In our work as Vancouver car accident lawyers, we see the direct impact that reduced daylight hours have on the number of collisions. When driving in dark and rainy conditions, focus your full attention on the road and use extra caution when approaching intersections. It can be very difficult to see pedestrians and other road users when visibility is reduced. Ensure that your vehicle’s headlights are on when it is dark – in fact, consider using your headlights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced.
4. Have a clear view. Before driving, ensure that your vehicle’s windows and mirrors are clear of snow, ice, and fog. Once you are on the road, consider using your vehicle’s defroster to keep your windows clear. Make sure your wipers are in good condition so you are prepared for sudden rain or other precipitation which can seriously reduce visibility.
5. Leave plenty of room for maintenance vehicles. Use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance equipment such as plows, salt and sand trucks. These vehicles throw up snow and spray, making it difficult to see, and rocks and sand that can damage your vehicle. Avoid overtaking maintenance vehicles if possible and never pass on the right.
If you have been injured in collision involving winter driving conditions, contact one of the knowledgeable Vancouver car accident lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP for a free initial consultation about your claim.