ICBC reminds drivers and pedestrians to use extra caution in dark, wet

VANCOUVER, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - With extreme rainfall hitting much of B.C. this week and Environment Canada warning we could get anywhere between 80 to 200 milimetres by the end of today, ICBC is reminding drivers to slow down, keep their distance and use extra caution on the roads.

In 2008, during the month of November, police reported approximately 340 crashes on B.C.'s roads, in which bad weather (rain, snow, sleet or fog) was a contributing factor. All drivers should be planning ahead and giving themselves extra time for possible delays that may occur, due to inclement weather. Check for road and weather conditions.

With heavy rainfall and darker driving conditions, here are ICBC's top five tips for motorists:

    -  Slow down and keep your distance: It's the number one road safety tip,
       especially in fall conditions. It can take up to three times the
       normal stopping distance to come to a complete stop on a wet or
       slippery road. Slowing down also allows you to see more of the road
       ahead and what is happening at intersections.

    -  Turn off the cruise control: Wet roads can cause wheels to spin and
       lose control. The only way to stop wheels from spinning and maintain
       control is to immediately reduce power. An activated cruise control
       system applies continuous power, keeping the wheels spinning. By the
       time you disengage the cruise control it may be too late - you may
       have already lost control.

    -  Avoid flooded roads: With falling leaves clogging sewers and adding to
       the problems caused by heavy rainfall, many roads across the province
       have become very slippery and flooded. Try to avoid driving, even at
       low speed, through a flooded area. Deep water can stall your vehicle's
       engine and reduce your vehicle's braking ability.

    -  Don't drive with bald or badly worn tires: Check your tires' tread and
       ensure they are properly inflated. Stick a toonie in your tire. If the
       tread doesn't hit the gold centre of the toonie, it's time to speak to
       a tire expert about new tires.

    -  Turn on low-beam headlights and wipers: Ensure you have optimal
       visibility of the road ahead, and that other motorists can see you.
       This is a good time of year to replace your worn windshield wipers.

If you're involved in a crash, ICBC is dedicated to providing a hassle-free claims experience. Claims can be reported to ICBC's Dial-A-Claim centre 24 hours a day, 365 days per year:

    Lower Mainland: 604-520-8222
    Elsewhere in B.C.: 1-800-910-4222
    Outside B.C.: 1-800-910-4222

With 2,700 pedestrians injured and 71 fatalities every year in B.C. as a result of a crash, ICBC is also reminding pedestrians to remember some key road safety tips:

    -  Be alert: Remove your headphones and put away your cellphone when
       crossing the street - focus your attention fully on what's happening
       around you.

    -  Make eye contact: It's vitally important that you make eye contact
       with drivers when crossing the roads in bad visibility, so you both
       know you see each other.

    -  Stay visible: Wear bright or light-coloured clothing, with reflective
       materials if possible.


For further information: For further information: and tips, visit; Media contact: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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