Roads still dangerous as snow melts

    ICBC warns drivers to remember two main tips - slow down and keep
    your distance

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - ICBC wants to remind all drivers that just
because the snow around roads is melting, it doesn't necessarily mean that the
roads are safer. Current road conditions are slippery and may contain standing
water, so drivers need to continue to adapt to the poor winter road
    Drivers need to be extra cautious of the hazards created by the
combination of melting snow and the significant rainfall over the past 48
hours. The hazards include standing water, flooded areas, potholes and the
possibility of black ice if temperatures dip again.
    One of the biggest risks for drivers is hydroplaning, which occurs when
drivers go too fast over water and their vehicle's tires stop making contact
with the road. This means drivers could lose control of their vehicles.
    If drivers find themselves hydroplaning, they need to ease off the
accelerator, grip the steering wheel and keep steering in the direction they
want to go - avoid braking. If braking is unavoidable, pump the brakes gently
until hydroplaning has stopped. If drivers have anti-lock brakes - don't pump
them - but instead apply constant, firm pressure.
    Drivers also need to be cautious of black ice - which is often hidden by
shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections where car exhaust and
packed snow ice up quickly. Potholes are another hazard for drivers during
cold and wet weather. For all of these types of winter hazards, drivers need
to remember the same two key tips - reduce your speed and increase your
following distance. The more time you have to react to any hazard the better.
    Another tip for drivers is to check road conditions at
before they travel, especially as there have already been some road and
highway closures due to mudslides or flooding. Finally, everyone can do their
part to ease the high water levels we are currently seeing on our roads by
clearing out drains by their homes.
    The severe winter road conditions have certainly increased the call
volume for ICBC's Dial-A-Claim call centre, with an approximate 30 per cent
increase over the expected call volume during the past week. November to
January is traditionally the time of year that sees the most crashes.
    During this busy time, ICBC is asking customers to be patient as it
processes a higher-than-normal amount of claims. To make the claims process
run smoother, ICBC suggests having the following information ready:

    -  your vehicle licence plate number
    -  the driver's licence number of the person driving your vehicle
    -  the licence plate and driver's licence numbers of the other vehicle(s)
    -  where the crash happened
    -  when the crash happened

    Customers in the Lower Mainland can reach Dial-a-Claim by calling
604-520-8222. Those who are elsewhere in BC can dial 1-800-910-4222, and those
outside of BC can call 1-800-910-4222.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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