ROAD SAFETY – MOTOR VEHICLE OCCUPANTS
Motor vehicle crashes are not accidents; they are system failures.
Each year, around 183 motor vehicle occupants are killed in crashes across BC. Based on 2015-2019 statistics, more than 68 percent of these fatalities were male and around 20 percent were among ages 0 to 24 years.2
Speeding was the most common contributing factor for fatalities among motor vehicle occupants, followed by distraction and impairment.2
From 2015-2019, a total of 7,466 injured vehicle occupants were hospitalized in BC (an annual mean of 1,494 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
- 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, making it easier to get an unobstructed 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
National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 17 to 23, 2021. Road crashes are the third-leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24 in Canada[i],[ii] and transport injuries for youth and young adults cost the Canadian economy $990 million in a single year1....
1.BC Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health. Retrieved from BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (2021). Available from: https://data.injuryresearch.bc.ca/DataTools/Mortality.aspx [Based on 2000-2019 statistics]
2. Business Information Warehouse – Traffic Accident System, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Data as of June 30th, 2020. Retrieved from Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT), BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (2021). Available from: https://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