Drivers can expect more traffic on the road this weekend, with many people making local travel plans to enjoy the B.C. Day long weekend. But ICBC cautions drivers to remain vigilant during celebrations – over 2,400 crashes are anticipated during the upcoming long weekend.

And with many British Columbians setting out on a road trip, ICBC is reminding drivers to stay safe by giving large trucks and R.V.’s their space, especially on highways.

On average, there are over 500 crashes involving large trucks and 370 crashes involving R.V.’s in B.C. throughout the summer. Due to their sheer size and significant weight, crashes with trucks and other large vehicles are usually much more serious, with occupants of the smaller vehicle more likely to be seriously injured or killed.

ICBC offers the following tips to help prevent crashes with large vehicles:

  • Stay focused: Driver distraction is the top contributing factor in crashes involving large vehicles. Things like programming your GPS before leaving the driveway, asking a passenger to manage your texts and calls, and making sure children and pets are safely secured are surefire ways to ensure a smooth ride.

  • Allow space for roll backs: Heavy vehicles can roll back as far as 4.5 meters (15 feet) when stopped on a hill. If you’re stopped behind a truck, it’s best to give plenty of space between you and the truck ahead of you.

  • Drive out of blind spots: Keep clear of blind spots — there are large blind spots all around large vehicles, even in the front. When following, you should be able to see both mirrors of the R.V. or truck in front of you.

  • Leave more space to brake: If you’re passing a truck, remember to leave extra room before pulling back in. Trucks needs plenty of space to slow down – that’s why they leave lots of room in front of them. If you pull in too close, the truck driver may have to brake hard to avoid a crash (possibly jack-knifing in the process), or end up rear-ending you.

  • Have lots of space to pass: You need a lot of space when passing a large vehicle. Remember that trucks are long, with some pulling two trailers. Don’t pass unless you’re sure you have enough space. Remember it’s also the law to stay in the right lane except when you’re passing another vehicle.

  • Return the favour when merging: If a truck moves to the left lane to let you merge with traffic on a highway, slow down to let them return to the right lane in front of you. It helps them get out of the faster-moving left lane, and improves the flow of traffic.

  • Have a little patience: Although heavy vehicles have much more powerful engines than cars, they’re also much heavier, needing more time to reach the speed limit. If you’re following a slow-moving R.V. climbing up a hill, give them plenty of space with the understanding that they’re probably trying their very best to keep up with the flow of traffic.

B.C. Day long weekend statistics*:

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, five people are killed and 600 injured in 2,400 crashes throughout the province.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, 420 people are injured in 1,500 crashes in the Lower Mainland.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, 84 people are injured in 400 crashes in Southern Interior.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, 20 people are injured in 130 crashes in northern B.C.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, 85 people are injured in 350 crashes on Vancouver Island.

Large commercial vehicles and R.V. statistics:

  • There are over 500 crashes involving large commercial vehicles in B.C. throughout the summer.**

  • There are 370 crashes involving R.V.’s. in B.C. throughout the summer***

*Injured victims and crashes from 2015 ICBC data and fatal victims from police data five-year average (2010 to 2014).
**Average, 2011-2015 data for June, July and August.
***2009 – 2013 average for June, July and August. Includes motor homes, office trailers, house trailer, tent trailers and travel trailers.

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