August 1, 2006

BCAA offers tips to avoid fatal traffic accidents on long weekend

Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) says that while one person on average dies every day on B.C. roads and 80 people are injured, the number doubles or even triples each day during summer long weekends. The Association’s Traffic Safety Foundation says that avoiding a tragedy may be as simple as staying alert and sober, and buckling up.

According to B.C. Traffic Collision Statistics, five people died and 305 were injured during the B.C. Day long weekend in 2004, the most recent data available. The worst long weekend for summer traffic collisions is Labour Day, averaging five deaths and 285 injuries over the past six years. The Safety Foundation offers these tips:

  • Keep your hands on the wheel and your mind on the road. According to NHTSA, the many forms of distracted driving are collectively responsible for as many as eight out of every ten crashes.
  • Stay alert and take regular breaks. Motorists in a hurry to get to their destination often push on and drive through dinner and much-needed rest stops. Get enough sleep before a trip and take a break every two hours or every 160 km.
  • If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. The greatest numbers of impaired driving collisions occur during the summer.

  • Buckle up, and ensure everyone is buckled into an age-appropriate restraint. Studies show that booster seats can substantially reduce the risk of death and serious injuries by up to 60 per cent over vehicle seat belts alone, yet only 18 per cent of children aged four to eight or weighing less than 36 kg (80 lb) are being placed in them. For more information or advice on child restraints, call BCAA’s Child Passenger toll-free line at 1-877-247-5551.

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