As British Columbians get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, ICBC is advising drivers that they may encounter challenging road conditions as they travel throughout the province.

“Thanksgiving long weekend, we do have a lot of people out there travelling,” ICBC’s Doug MacDonald told MyPGNow. “On average, we see about 140 crashes in northern BC. Provincially, we see about 2200 crashes and nearly 700 people injured.”

With data collected from 2014 to 2018, the Northern Interior averages 19 vehicle-caused injuries each year during the Thanksgiving long weekend.

It’s only a few weeks into fall and snow has already blanketed parts of B.C. As of October 1st, winter tires or chains are mandatory on many B.C. highways, including Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton, the Malahat portion of Highway 1 on Vancouver Island, and most highways throughout the southern interior and northern B.C.

Keep in mind the following tips to stay safe:

  • Plan your route ahead of time. Check weather and road conditions on drivebc.ca before you get behind the wheel. Take long weekend traffic into account and allow extra time to get to your destination.

  • Check your tires. Winter tires or chains are now required on many B.C. highwaysWinter tires are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M&S designation). Also, make sure your tires have adequate tread and are properly inflated.

  • Slow down on wet roads. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet, slippery roads or on roads covered in leaves. Keep in mind that posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions.

  • Put your phone away. Focus on the road, minimize distractions and pay attention to your surroundings.

  • Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Daylight steadily decreases with each passing day in October and it can be difficult to see pedestrians and cyclists, especially around intersections.