Darkness and rainy weather can combine to create deadly consequences for pedestrians

Rain and darkness can be a deadly combination

ICBC stats show nine out of 10 drivers worry about hitting a pedestrian at night, particularly in wet weather.

A survey released by ICBC has revealed that nine out of 10 drivers worry about hitting a pedestrian at night, particularly in wet weather.

At the same time, 8 out of 10 pedestrians don’t feel safe in these same conditions.

To help address the situation, the provincial government and police are launching a pedestrian safety campaign across the province to raise awareness of the dangers represented by the increased hours of darkness combined with reduced visibility due to our rainy winter.

“I cringe when I see see people, especially young people, dressed in dark colours with no reflective material whatsoever walking along the roadside on a rainy night. They seem unaware that they are making themselves very hard to see and that could lead to them being badly injured or even losing their life,” said Staff Sargent Jeff McArthur, Detachment Commander of the Sooke RCMP.

“There are all kinds of reflective safety gear out there these days and it only makes sense to wear it if you venture out on a dark, rainy night.”

READ MORE: Elderly man struck by vehicle in Aldergrove

That same message is part of the ICBC campaign after it statistics revealed a disproportionate number of pedestrian-related crashes and injuries happen in just four months of the year — 43 per cent of all crashes that injure pedestrians happen between October and January as visibility and conditions get worse.

Dark and rainy conditions can seriously impact visibility, and that’s why community policing volunteers will be handing our reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.

READ MORE: Pedestrian complained about feeling ‘invisible’ in crosswalk

The other aspect of the safety equation is, of course, the behaviour of the drivers.

“Three-quarters of pedestrian crashes happen at intersections,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “Unfortunately, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to be hurt when involved in a crash. These crashes contribute to the rising number of injury claims in our province, which is the largest single cost pressure on B.C. insurance rates, but the reality is, these crashes are preventable. We all need to do our part to keep our roads and pedestrians safe.”

Every year in B.C. an average of 59 pedestrians are killed and 2,500 are injured.

READ MORE: Surrey pedestrian killed after possible hit-and-run

“It’s important for drivers to slow down and be extra vigilant at this time of year,” said McArthur. “It’s a matter of assessing your own abilities as a driver and slowing down to the point where you are confident that you can pick up peripheral objects.”

For some drivers, added McArthur, that self assessment should result in deciding not to drive during certain conditions. For some older drivers who don’t feel confident after dark in the rain, or for drivers who’s vision may have deteriorated this may be a reasonable, responsible course of action.

Regional statistics

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 1,400 crashes at intersections involve a pedestrian every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 190 crashes at intersections involve a pedestrian every year.

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Blazers win double gold in girls’ softball

U16 and U14 girls win their respective provincial championships

Ottawa singer songwriter Victor Nesrallah plays Char’s Landing July 22

VIA Rail’s latest ‘artist on board’ takes first Vancouver Island tour

Green housing project sparks interest in Port Alberni

Maitland Street multi-family residence raises bar on affordability

Port Alberni ponders adding office spaces to Harbour Quay

Waterfront space is currently zoned for retail and tourism

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

VIDEO: Sproat Lake hosts annual regatta

2018 Alberni Valley event featured two days of boat racing action

Special forces unit to monitor Hells Angels ride on Vancouver Island

Enforcement unit says motorcycle club to hold 35th anniversary ride in Nanaimo

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read