ROAD SAFETY – MOTOR VEHICLE OCCUPANTS

Motor vehicle crashes are not accidents; they are system failures.

Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among 0 to 14-year-olds in BC, after suffocation.1

OVERVIEW

Between 2018 and 2022, around 180 motor vehicle occupants were killed annually in crashes across BC. Statistics from this period indicate that over 70% of these fatalities were male, and about 26% were individuals younger than 25 years old.2

From 2015-2019, a total of 7,489 injured vehicle occupants were hospitalized in BC (an annual mean of 1,498 hospitalizations). Around 55 percent of these injured persons were male and 59 percent were 20-64 years old. The most common injury type in injured car occupants were fractures (60%).3

Men accounted for higher injury costs due to transport incidents than did women, with greater differences in cost between men and women observed in 25-64 year old age group.5

Motor vehicle crashes are the third leading cause of injury-related death in those 15 years and older in BC, and more than 66% of these fatalities have occurred among occupants of vehicles.1

PREVENTION

  • Buckle up: Always use seatbelts and appropriate child restraints when travelling within a vehicle. This includes proper installation and use of child car seats or booster seats.
  • Stay sober: Do not drive impaired or under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or other recreational drugs, or prescription medications that may affect your perception or reaction time.
  • Put the phone down: Avoid distractions, including any cell phone use, panel controls, or noisy passengers.
  • Slow down: Adhere to posted speed limits and to the rules of the road.
  • Be aware: Shoulder check before changing lanes or making turns. Be alert to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
  • Do the ‘Dutch Reach’: The Dutch Reach involves using your hand furthest from the vehicle door to open it, forcing your upper body and head to turn outward. This makes it easier for you to get a clear view of oncoming motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, people using wheelchairs or on scooters, or other vulnerable road users. The Dutch Reach is designed to prevent “dooring” incidents where drivers open their doors into the path of cyclists, which can cause serious injuries.4

Transport incidents accounted for almost one-quarter of total costs from injuries among youth 15-24-years-old, of which 59% were motor vehicle incident costs.5

News

1.BC Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health. Retrieved from BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (2022). Available from: https://data.injuryresearch.bc.ca/DataTools/Mortality.aspx [Based on 2013-2022 statistics]

2. ICBC. Fatal victims. Available from: https://public.tableau.com/shared/FGSGT2WJ7?:toolbar=n&:display_count=n&:origin=viz_share_linkhttps://data.injuryresearch.bc.ca/datatools/TASDataTool.aspx

3. Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), Ministry of Health, BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (2021). Available from: https://data.injuryresearch.bc.ca/DataTools/hospitalization.aspx

4. Fraser Health (Sep 09, 2021). Dutch reach. Available from: https://youtu.be/rMxCSHGb25s

5. Rajabali, F., Ibrahimova, A., Barnett, B., & Pike, I. (2015). Economic Burden of Injury in British Columbia. B.C. Injury Research and Prevention Unit. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0397291