According to recent ICBC statistics, Whistler and the Sea to Sky saw an overall increase in reported car crashes in 2021 compared to 2020.
There were 1,043 accidents in Whistler in 2021, an increase of 20 per cent from the 867 in 2020. The vast majority of crashes happen at intersections on Highway 99.
The worst intersection for accidents in 2021 was Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road, which saw 15 crashes—followed closely by the Alpha Lake Road and Highway 99 intersection, which had 14. Between 2017 and 2021, there were 102 accidents at the Alpha Lake Road/Highway 99 intersection, making it the most dangerous in Whistler.
Lorimer Road saw the most accidents off the highway, with 14 in 2021 (26 with the highway intersection included). Between 2017 and 2021, there were 119 crashes on Lorimer Road.
After catastrophic flooding took out highways across the province last fall, Whistler saw an increase in traffic through the resort, as Highway 99 remained one of the few undamaged routes in B.C.
In August 2021, Whistler adopted lower speed limits across the municipality, lowering the legal speed limit from 50 to 30 km/hr on all municipal roads (with some exceptions). Highway 99 is under provincial jurisdiction and currently has speeds between 60 and 80 km/hr throughout the municipality.
Squamish had 1,036 traffic accidents in 2021, up from 1,012 the year previous, an increase of 2.3 per cent. The most dangerous intersection in Squamish was Cleveland Avenue and Highway 99, which saw 44 accidents in 2021.
Between 2017 and 2021, the Cleveland Ave., intersection had the most accidents in the entire Sea to Sky, with 251. The second-worst intersection in Squamish was Highway 99 and Mamquam Road, which saw 102 accidents.
Pemberton experienced a similarly minor increase in incidents, with a total of 200 in 2021, up just five from 2020. Twenty-six of these incidents involved an animal.
The worst intersections for accidents in Pemberton were Highway 99 and Portage Road, which had 15 reported accidents over the last five years, followed by Highway 99 and Pemberton Farm Road East, which had 12 accidents.
Most rural areas of the Sea to Sky saw a decrease in crashes in 2021. Mount Currie’s number declined from 37 to 30; Furry Creek from 14 to five; and the Pemberton Meadows from four to two. The only rural area to see a slight increase was Birken, which increased from six to eight crashes.
Overall, while the number of accidents in the Sea to Sky increased between 2020 and 2021, the total for the region is still lower than in 2017, showing progress has been made in making the region’s roads safer for motorists and pedestrians.
In 2017, Whistler had 1,332 accidents, followed by Squamish (1,316) and Pemberton (216). During the same period, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District grew by 18 per cent from 42,665 to 50,496 people.