The headlines have been screaming weekly about hit and run accidents in Vancouver and the lower mainland, some of them fatal. Good driving skills and manners are universal, but each region in Canada has it’s own challenges when it comes to avoiding accidents. Here are 5 driving tips to keep you safe on Vancouver and lower mainland roads.
- Avoid distracted driving. We all do it everyday. We just adjust the radio, or the air conditioning, or side mirrors, change the navigation settings or reach to put on sunglasses. But distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car, pedestrian and bicycle collisions. Take a short 60 seconds to get comfortable in your car: have the mirrors in place, the temperature comfortable and your sunglasses on. Then put any other distractions into the back seat, including pets.
- Slow Down In School Zones. The kids are back to school and that means more morning traffic. Plan enough time to get the kids to school so that you are not tempted to speed. Please just slow it right down around schools and parks. Do not back up in school zones, and ensure you have eye contact with children and parents at intersections.
- Know Your Route. Not only are all of the major cities going through major construction and road repair, Highway #1 is also going through major upgrades. With construction come distractions, road closures, and lane detours and flag persons. Try to avoid construction zones and slow down. In BC fines are double for speeding in construction zones, which may already have reduced speed limits. ICBC states the following for speeding infractions: In a school, playground or construction zone, if you’re caught going up to 20 km/h over the speed limit, the fine is $196. And if you’re caught going more than 60 km/h, you’ll pay $483.
- Use the 2-second safe distance following rule. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common car accidents on BC roads. To maintain a safe following distance at any speed, stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of the your vehicle. You can’t control the driver behind you, but if you follow the 2-second rule, you could avoid the domino effect of hitting the car in front of you if you get rear-ended. On highways, the rule is 3 seconds.
- Drive defensively when sharing the road with cyclists. The lower mainland is teaming with more and more bike lanes. And although, this can be a positive step to road safety, co-mingling drivers and cyclists can lead to car and bicycle accidents. In Vancouver, the bike lane system is very inconsistent – some are separated lanes, some are lane shares and often intersections have different controls. This can lead to confusion for drivers and collisions with bicyclists. Get to know how a bike route may affect your driving route.
If injured in a car accident in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, Richmond or other lower mainland city, you may have questions about your rights to financial recovery. Call a experienced personal injury lawyer at Klein Lawyers. For a free car accident consultation call 604-874-7171 or fill out our free advice form.