ICBC shares essential safety tips ahead of Thanksgiving weekend

October 05, 2023

Many British Columbians will be travelling to visit with family and friends over the Thanksgiving long weekend. Whether your visit involves long distance travel or a local trip, ICBC is urging drivers to use caution throughout the long weekend. 

On average, 530 people are injured and four people are killed in 1,880 crashes during the Thanksgiving long weekend every year. Distracted driving, impaired driving and speed are the top three contributing factors in these crashes. 

Tips for drivers: 

  • Weather can be unpredictable and change quickly at this time of year. After months of extended drought and the arrival of fall weather, drivers heading out on road trips need to be prepared for the unexpected. Snow, sleet, rain, hail, ice and fog are just some of the challenging fall conditions you should be prepared for on B.C. roads. Check road and weather conditions at before your trip.

  • Prepare your vehicle by making sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition, headlights and taillights are in working order, and keep wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility. It's also important to prepare for the unexpected by keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle with items like warm clothing, food, water, blankets and more.

  • As of October 1st, vehicles must have 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.

  • Keep in mind, posted speed limits are for ideal road conditions. When driving on snow, ice, slush or in rain or fog, slow your speed. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet or slippery roads.

  • Distracted driving is a top contributing factor in crashes during the long weekend. Keep your mind and eyes focused on the road at all times. If necessary, program your GPS before you head out on your drive, and leave your phone alone.

  • Watch out for cyclists and pedestrians. Pay close attention near intersections, crosswalks and bike lanes. There may be more people out riding and walking during the holiday weekend.

  • If your long weekend plans involve alcohol, make a plan to get home safely. Use a designated driver, call a taxi or rideshare, or take transit. Help everyone get home safely this holiday weekend by never driving while impaired.

Regional statistics:*

  • In the Lower Mainland, 390 people are injured in 1,180 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • On Vancouver Island, 61 people are injured in 270 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • In the Southern Interior, 59 people are injured in 280 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • In the North Central region, 21 people are injured in 120 crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

*Crash and injury counts based on ICBC data (2018 to 2022); fatalities based on police data (2018 to 2022). Thanksgiving long weekend is calculated from 6 p.m. the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday. 

Media Contact:

Greg Harper


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