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Holiday Driving Safety

December 21, 2015 | Accident & Injury

It’s a wonderful time of the year! The ski slopes are open in BC, holiday parties abound, family and friends host gatherings to celebrate the year and ring in peace and prosperity in 2016. We want to remind everyone to drive safe and get home without any car accident injuries this holiday season. With the holidays in full swing, the roads are much busier and coupled with shorter daylight hours and inclement weather, driving conditions can be perilous. The best way to avoid a car accident in BC is to plan in advance.

Be Prepared For Winter Driving Conditions

Unlike last winter, this year is proving to be a wet and whiter winter. Weather conditions can change in minutes from sunny and dry, to torrential rains or snowfalls. This can lead to road conditions that are slippery, wet and icy. Build in extra time to your schedule, slow down and be patient when driving. The car accident lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP in Vancouver recommend planning in advance and having a good strategy:

  • Ensure your car is serviced and everything is working.
  • If travelling on highways or remote areas, have snow tires or chains.
  • Make sure your fluids and gas tank are always full.
  • Have an emergency kit with emergency lights, blankets, cold-weather gear, dry snacks and water.
  • If taking a road trip, inform a family or friend of your route and expected departure and arrival times.
  • If weather forecasts are not favourable, consider postponing departure time. A few hours or even a day can make a difference in road conditions.
  • If you encounter difficult driving conditions, slow down or pull over until the worst of the storm has passed.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

Commuting Strategies For Holiday Parties

We all have the best intentions not to drink and drive, but it can happen very easily and even one or two drinks can impair your judgement or even put you over the legal blood alcohol level.

It’s a matter of preparing in advance so you and your group have a strategy to get home safely during the holiday season. Also consider strategies for getting home safely after holiday lunches, impromptu after work drinks, or a glass of beer or wine after a long day of shopping. In BC it can often be difficult to find public transportation or a taxi service, so plan a commuting strategy in advance.

Tips and tricks for getting home safely:

  1. Plan to take public transportation.
  2. If the distance is not great, enjoy the fresh air and walk home (ladies bring a pair of flats!).
  3. Have a designated driver in your group.
  4. Plan to stay over at a friend’s, book a hotel room or even find a spot on airbnb.
  5. Consider transit if it can work for your routes. Translink and BC Transit often extend hours of operation during the holiday season.
  6. Designated driving services. In many locations in BC, volunteer groups set up driving services to get you and your car home safely. This does take some planning and pre-booking (see resources below).

The personal injury lawyers and staff at Warnett Hallen LLP encourage you to be merry this holiday season but drive safe – the life you save could be your own.

Resources

The fine folks at go2 Tourism HR Society have done all of the legwork and posted a great list of resources for designated driving services.

Don’t Be A Statistic

Impaired driving in B.C. (ICBC)

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