Editorial: Slow down and keep your eyes open out there

With this week’s heavy rains, roads are getting busier lot more treacherous

With this week’s heavy rains, roads are getting busier as those who might otherwise walk, cycle or skateboard climb into their cars and out of the wet.

While the West Coast is supposed to be spared a long cold winter – should the meteorologists be correct – we can definitely expect more wet weather. Add to that the shorter days brought with this Sunday’s falling back to standard time, and local road conditions become a whole lot treacherous.

According to ICBC, statistics show that 105 people are killed each year in speed-related crashes in B.C.

Each October the province has an average of 121 crashes resulting in injuries or death in B.C. due to people driving too fast for the conditions. That number nearly doubles in December to 234 as conditions worsen.

Further, “each time you double your speed, your braking distance is multiplied by four. In wet or icy road conditions, it’s even more,” ICBC notes.

While busy lives mean we often try to squeeze in just one more email or one more sip of coffee before heading out the door, commit to giving yourself a little extra time to get where you need to be.

When on the road, make a point of noticing your surroundings, watching for animals, children and other road users who might not be easily seen among the sidewalk shadows and reflecting vehicle lights. (This goes for all road users – pedestrians and cyclists must also do their due diligence when it comes to seeing and being seen)

Oak Bay readers have been quick to point out that certain streets and intersections are notorious for speeders, and that’s certainly true, as police reports reflect, however drivers needn’t be travelling very quickly to lose control on slick roads – especially when applying the brakes suddenly.

Let’s all be careful out there.