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23 car crashes every hour over the holidays: ICBC

Richmond sees the most crashes between November and January, RCMP say
ICBC is reminding drivers to drive carefully this holiday season. More than 1,900 crashes occur on B.C. roads over Christmas and New Year's.

ICBC is reminding drivers to play it safe over the holidays – a season the crown corporation says sees 23 crashes every hour.

Over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s, 540 people are injured in more than 1,900 crashes in B.C., according to ICBC. During this period, three people die in crashes each year.

Based on a five-year average between 2016 and 2020, 260 people are injured in 740 crashes in the Lower Mainland over Christmas (Dec. 24 to midnight Dec. 26), according to ICBC.    

On New Year’s (6 p.m. on Dec. 31 to midnight Jan. 1 of the new year), on average, 140 people are injured in 480 crashes in the Lower Mainland.

Meanwhile, Richmond sees the most crashes between November and January, according to data from Richmond Mounties.

Last year, there were 33 collisions reported in November in Richmond, 39 in December and 55 in January, according to Richmond RCMP.

In 2019, there were 72 crashes in Richmond in November, 60 in December and 58 in November.

ICBC said drivers should follow travel alerts and stay updated on road conditions – and is reminding drivers their travel should be in line with provincial orders.

Drivers are also reminded to check their vehicles to make sure they are winter ready – many B.C. highways require winter tires – and to slow down in wet or icy conditions and maintain a safe travelling distance between other cars.

ICBC also recommends avoiding phone distractions, programming map directions before making a trip and taking breaks if feeling drowsy.

Drivers are also asked to plan for a safe ride home – such as calling a taxi or ride share, taking transit, using Operation Red Nose where available or arranging a designated driver – if their holiday celebrations involve alcohol.