ICBC warns of seasonal surge in crashes involving pedestrians

ICBC warns of seasonal surge in crashes involving pedestrians
A pedestrian seen crossing an intersection in downtown Victoria. ICBC says pedestrians are more likely to be struck by a vehicle while crossing at an intersection during this time of the year than any other time.

If you’re a pedestrian, this is the time of the year where you’re more likely to be struck by a vehicle.

At least that’s the message from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

According to a recent ICBC press release, crashes involving pedestrians nearly double at this time of year, particularly between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., during the evening rush hour period.

“Crashes involving pedestrians are highest between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day when many of us are commuting home. It’s important for drivers to leave their phone alone and for pedestrians to stay focused on what’s going on around them,” Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s vice-president of public affairs and driver licensing, said in a press release.

ICBC says that nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities in British Columbia take place between October and January, when the weather changes and as daylight hours reduce.

“We’re urging both pedestrians and drivers to do their part to keep our roads safe as daylight hours decrease and weather conditions change,” Matthews said.

Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way, according to ICBC, are the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes with pedestrians, with more than three-quarters of crashes involving pedestrians occurring at intersections.

As a result, ICBC, in partnership with law enforcement agencies across the province, is launching a pedestrian safety campaign, which will feature online advertising that reminds drivers that “you see pedestrians when you really look” for them.

“ICBC 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,” the release states.

Though motorists are urged to pay more attention, ICBC says pedestrians can do their part by making eye contact with motorists, wearing reflective clothing at night, looking both ways before crossing the street and watching for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and using designated crosswalks.

An ICBC infographic showing percentage of crashes involving pedestrians at intersections throughout B.C. (ICBC)


Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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