EDITORIAL: Stay safe driving in the snow

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

Yesterday (Dec. 4) saw one of the first big snowfalls of the season so far (though it still wasn’t that much).

Snow means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For the new Mt. Timothy owners as well as the 100 Mile Nordics, I’m sure snow is a welcome sign. They’re far from the only ones looking forward to playing in the snow.

Everyone from little children to snowmobile clubs will be looking forward to get out and enjoy the white powder.

However, there’s also a flip-side to that coin. Looking at fatalities, November and December are the most dangerous months in B.C. for pedestrians, according to the BC Coroners Service.

Furthermore, December is also the most dangerous of all the winter months. On average, 22.2 fatalities occur in December in B.C. (excluding pedestrians), compared to less than 20 for January and February, which are actually among the safest months based on the number of fatalities.

Undoubtedly, the dip is, between snowbirds and tourism, at least in part because there are fewer road users. However, it’s not just about volume.

The Interior (as defined by the health authority boundaries) is by far the most dangerous stretch, with 34 per cent of all MVI (motor vehicle incident) deaths in the last 10 years, followed by Fraser at 26 per cent, Northern at 16 per cent, Island at 14 per cent and Vancouver Coastal at 10 per cent.

All of this is a good reminder to make sure to tread carefully while driving on our roads in the coming weeks.

It’s also a good time to remind drivers to wear their seatbelts, especially men.

The BC Coroners Service was only able to confirm restraint use for 49 per cent of male deaths with 35 per cent using no restrains and 16 per cent unknown, compared to restraints used in 71 per cent of female deaths with 18 per cent not using restraints and 11 per cent unkown (2011-2016). That’s even more significant than it may look at face value as 69 per cent of all fatalities are male.

Finally, it may be worth cautioning younger drivers. In all but two of the last 10 years, the highest number of fatalities was in the 19 to 29-year-old age group. In 2017, that grim crown was taken by the 30 to 39-year-old age group and in 2009 the 40 to 49-year-old age group took it. For both the 19 to 29 and the 30 to 39-year-old age groups over 50 per cent involved alcohol and/or drugs between 2008 and 2016.

Ultimately, whether there is snow or not, there’s never a bad time to think about road safety.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Figure skating club looks back on busy 2019

The 100 Mile and District Figure Skating Club got off to a… Continue reading

Who or what would you like to see on the new $5 bill?

Vanessa Shearer 100 Mile House “Not quite sure, someone who has done… Continue reading

100 Mile House Blind Curling Team will not compete this season

Due to travel and vacations, the team has decided not play

Athlete in Focus: Aidan Morrison of the 100 Mile House Wranglers

Aidan Morrison has freed himself from the pressure of playing Junior A… Continue reading

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read