ICBC cautions drivers: expect unpredictable road conditions this long weekend

October 02, 2018


Snow, sleet, rain, hail and fog are just some of the challenging fall conditions you should be prepared for on B.C. roads if you'll be travelling this Thanksgiving long weekend.

On average, four people are killed and 650 people are injured in 2,100 crashes in B.C. over Thanksgiving long weekend.*

As of October 1, drivers are required to use winter tires on many B.C. highways including parts of Vancouver Island, Highway 99 to Whistler, and most highways in the Southern Interior and northern B.C.

ICBC's Drive Smart tips:

  • Know your route. Weather is unpredictable and varies greatly at this time of year so check road and weather conditions before your trip at

  • Prepare your vehicle. With summer weather long over in parts of the province, make sure your vehicle's seasonally prepared. It's just as important to prepare your vehicle as it is to adjust your speed for the road conditions. Make sure your vehicle's headlights and taillights are in working order, keep wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility and don't drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires.

  • Need winter tires? Winter tires are now required on many B.C. highways. Winter tires are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow designation (M&S). They must also be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.

  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal road conditions. When driving on snow, ice, slush or in rain or fog, slow down. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet or slippery roads and avoid driving through flooded or washed out roads.

  • Take a break from your phone. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your notifications while driving. If you have to take a call, pull over when it's safe to do so; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief. Make sure you're focused on driving before re-entering traffic.

Regional statistics:*

  • In the Lower Mainland, 490 people are injured in 1,400 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • On Vancouver Island, 78 people are injured in 280 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • In the Southern Interior, 56 people are injured in 300 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • In the North Central region, 18 people are injured in 140 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

*Crash and injury counts based on ICBC data (2013 to 2017); fatalities based on police data (2012 to 2016). Thanksgiving long weekend is calculated from 6 p.m. the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday.

Media contact:

Lindsay Wilkins