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Easter weekend is a driving disaster — be safe

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 | 10:37 am

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Long weekends are always busy, and that extra bustle can lead to disastrous consequences on the road.

From 2005 to 2009, , there has been an annual average of 300 crashes and 80 injuries throughout the Southern Interior, over the four-day Easter long weekend, reports ICBC.  Across B.C. there’s been an average of 2,100 crashes, 630 injuries and four fatalities.

It’s unpleasant statistics like those that prompted the insurance corporation to fire out a warning.

“Our roads will be extra busy with many drivers setting off on their first road trip of the year,” said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC’s director of Road Safety.

“It’s important for drivers to do their part to keep our roads safe by being extra cautious and making smart driving decisions. At this time of the year, we can often still see challenging weather conditions across many parts of the province.”

Here are ICBC’s top five smart driving tips for this Easter long weekend:

No. 1 – Be realistic: Plan ahead and be realistic about travel times. Allow extra time for possible delays that may occur due to increased traffic volume over the long weekend. Check www.drivebc.ca for road and weather conditions before setting out.
No. 2 – Your vehicle: Long road trips can be tiring for drivers and passengers but also on your vehicle, so make sure it’s up to the drive. Remember to check your engine oil, washer fluid, lights and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated. For more tips on preparing your vehicle, go to www.drivesmartsavegreen.com.
No. 3 – Be safe: At this time of year in B.C., weather conditions can change quickly, especially when travelling over long distances. Even in spring, drivers may encounter winter-like conditions in some parts of the province. In other parts of the province, warmer weather will encourage more motorcyclists and bicyclists to hit the road. Drivers should slow down, use extra caution and keep a look out for other roads users.
No. 4 – Drive smart: Whether travelling a long distance or a short trip, always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles. Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good weather and road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you’re behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping distance.
No. 5 – Model it: Set an example for your children and other drivers by making smart driving decisions on the road. Start by always wearing your seatbelt and make sure that everyone else in the vehicle does too.
For more smart driving tips, please visit www.icbc.com/drivesmart.

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