Campaign Update Notice - Fewer than 50% of drivers in British Columbia report using winter tires

How did you "Shift Into Winter"?

RICHMOND, BC, Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - An online survey conducted by Canadian Tire and reviewed by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) found that approximately 40 per cent of drivers in British Columbia reported using winter tires on their vehicles in 2011.

How did you prepare for winter driving? If you didn't, it's not too late. Here are a few road safety reminders from WorkSafeBC, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Winter Driving Safety Alliance to help you "Shift Into Winter".

  • Prepare your vehicle - Make sure your vehicle is winterized including four matched winter tires that are specifically designed for colder temperatures and carry the mountain snowflake symbol, topped-up fluids, working heating and electrical systems, and an emergency survival kit.

  • Know before you go - Check road and weather conditions before heading out and avoid driving if conditions are bad. If you can wait, go when the weather improves and allow extra travel time.

  • Slow down - Always drive for the conditions. Fog, rain, snow and ice present their own driving hazards. Slowing down will reduce your risk.

From October 1 to April 30 on highways designated with winter tire signs, drivers in B.C. are required to use winter tires.  Tires with the mountain snowflake symbol, which are specifically designed to meet cold weather performance standards, are the best choice for safe travel in winter conditions. Under existing legislation, an M + S tire is also considered a winter tire. In all cases, a winter tire must be in good condition, with a minimum tread of 3.5 mm.

More winter driving safety information can be found at ShiftIntoWinter.ca, a resource to help drivers build their knowledge and develop better winter driving skills and practices.

In B.C., on average, 22 workers die on the job every year in a motor vehicle crash making it the leading cause of traumatic workplace fatalities in the province. Whether you drive for work or leisure, it is important to take steps to reduce your risk of a serious crash or injury while driving.

Quotes:

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure - Todd Stone

"Winter weather conditions in B.C. can vary widely from region to region so it's important to take extra care and be prepared when venturing out on our roads and highways. Our DriveBC website is one of the most valuable tools drivers can use before they head out. We have more than 350 webcam images in locations throughout the province, even in remote areas, so travellers can get current, real-time conditions for a safe trip - whatever the weather."

WorkSafeBC Industry and Labour Services Manager - Mark Ordeman

"With several months of winter still to come, we will continue to see changing weather and road conditions around the province. It's important for drivers to prepare their vehicles and adjust their driving for those changing conditions."

Editors Notes:

Source for Canadian Tire Survey is the Traffic Injury Research Foundation 2012 Winter Tires: A Review of Research on Effectiveness and Use report.

Source for number of worker deaths due to motor vehicle crashes is WorkSafeBC Statistics Services, 2013

About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is a joint provincial initiative comprised of organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months. They are the Automotive Retailers Association, BC Forest Safety Council, BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, BC Trucking Association, Insurance Corporation of BC, Justice Institute of BC, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, the Trucking Safety Council of BC and WorkSafeBC.

SOURCE Winter Driving Safety Alliance

For further information:

Lennea Durant
Media Relations
Road Safety at Work
Tel: 604-875-1182
lennea.durant@roadsafetyatwork.ca

Ally Skinner-Reynolds
Media and Government Relations
WorkSafeBC
Tel: 604-244-6330, Cell: 604-314-5039
alexandra.skinner-reynolds@worksafebc.com