No one leaves the house knowing that they might get into a collision, but they do happen when we least expect them, and often to the most well-meaning people. No matter how it happens it is always traumatic to a varying degree for individuals involved. However, the reality is that roadside crashes involve serious injuries and even death at times
Motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury related death across all ages in BC. In 2018 the cost per crash in BC was estimated as $8.4 million and the total health care cost of transport incidents was $370 million in 2010. There were 350,000 collisions on B.C. roads in 2017, an average of 960 crashes a day, according to BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit. The majority of collisions involve injury to occupants but injury also occurs among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to individuals, their families, and to society as a whole in the form of incurred treatment and rehabilitation costs, lost productivity for those disabled, and for family members who need to take time off work to care for the injured.
As the weather changes and daylight hours decrease, pedestrians become more vulnerable. Nearly half (44 per cent) of all crashes with pedestrians happen between October and January.
“Even when drivers proceed with caution, it's hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor. In B.C., 76 per cent of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections. Whether it's taking a break from your phone or yielding the right-of-way, we all need to do our part to keep pedestrians safe”, said Karon Trenaman, Road Safety & Community Coordinator, ICBC. and a member of Safe Active Transportation Delta committee
The police can assign more than 60 contributing factors when completing crash reports. The top 4 contributing factors from 2013-2017 and still include:
• Exceeding speed limit, and driving too fast for conditions
• Driver distractions which Includes inattention, and distracted driving due to use of any equipment for communication. Cell phone use and texting while driving is well known to be dangerous, putting on makeup or even reading puts the driver, the passengers and all travelers on the road at great risk.
• Impaired driving includes driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol where one’s ability is impaired
• Driving on rainy, icy and snowy roads poses a risk, and drivers who drive faster than they should in such conditions may cause crashes.
The good news is that road traffic injuries can be prevented. Designing interventions including safer infrastructure and incorporating safety features into land-use and transport planning, vehicles, implementing and enforcing laws to counter risks, and raising public awareness is key.
Preventing injuries and fatalities requires a multi-sectoral approach where various stakeholders such as transport, police, health, education, and citizens collaborate to address the safety of road users.
Delta will be hosting their first Vision Zero: Road Safety event for the public on Saturday, November 2nd from 10am to 3pm at North Delta Recreation Centre. This event is funded by Fraser Health and organized in collaboration with partners including Delta Police, ICBC, Fraser Health, City Of Delta, HUB Cycling Delta, ICBC, and Delta Seniors Planning Team.
Vision Zero is based on the principle that everyone has the right to a safe transport system and that in every situation a person might fail but the road system should not. The goal of Vision Zero is zero injuries and fatalities on Delta’s Road.
Korine Deol, Healthy Built Environment Officer, Fraser Health and a member of the Safe Active Transportation Delta committee stated that, “the purpose of Vision Zero event is to raise awareness for the need for Vision Zero policies in Delta. We want the community to come together to talk about road safety issues and how we can make our Delta roads safer. This will be our first Vision Zero event, a Road Safety Community Fair with activities for all members of the public".
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