August is the deadliest month for fatal motor vehicle incidents involving non-pedestrians, while November is the deadliest month for pedestrians.
According to statistics from the B.C. Coroners Service, more than 31 road users (other than pedestrians) have died each August between 2008 and 2018. July (29.5) and September (26.5) have historically recorded the second and third-highest rate. Counting pedestrian fatalities, the total August average is 34.6.
While monthly figures may vary from year to year — July was the deadliest month in 2008 with 50 fatalities (other than pedestrians), for example — the broader picture shows a distinct pattern. Fatalities in the summer months are almost twice as high as in the shoulder months. Figures for February between 2008 and 2018 show 16.6 road fatalities (other than pedestrians).
A closer look also reveals another pattern. The number of pedestrian fatalities generally tends to fall as the days get longer. Conversely, the figure generally rises as the days get shorter. Figures show 3.5 pedestrian deaths in June, July and August, 4.9 in September, 5.6 in October, 7.6 in November, and 7.1 in December before dropping to 6.5 in January, 5.4 in February, 4.9 in March, 3.5 in April, and 1.6 in May.
Overall, 42 per cent of all fatalities are drivers themselves, followed by passengers with 19 per cent, and pedestrians with 18 per cent. Riders of motorcycles and mopeds account for 11 per cent of fatalities, followed by cyclists, commercial drivers, and other, each with three per cent respectively. Motorized wheelchair riders account for one per cent.
Almost seven out of 10 fatalities are men, and more than one-third of deaths stemming from motor vehicle incidents involve drugs and/or alcohol.