Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! As most people are planning to spend this weekend with family and eating turkey, traffic will be heavier than usual. Unfortunately, with fall officially underway and the sun setting sooner, the conditions will also be worse. The combination of traffic and bad roads increase the chance of an accident. ICBC has published their statistics, and 450 people were injured in 1,300 crashes over the Thanksgiving long weekend last year in Lower Mainland alone. Here are ICBC’s tips for keeping safe this weekend:

  • Prepare your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the fall. Don’t drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires. Keep the wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility.
  • Plan your route. Since weather is unpredictable at this time of the year, plan ahead to make your trip as safe as possible. Check roads and weather before your trip at drivebc.ca or toll-free 1-800-550-4997. With more holiday weekend traffic, allow extra time to get to your destination.
  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions. Allow yourself at least twice the normal braking distance on wet and slippery roads or on roads covered in leaves. Avoid driving through flooded or washed out roads.
  • Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. With shorter days and reduced visibility, pay extra attention for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
  • Leave your phone alone. No call or text is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your notifications while in traffic.
  • Check if you need winter tires. From October 1 to March 31, drivers are required to use winter tires on some B.C. highwaysWinter tires  are labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation.

The combination of frequent weather changes and shorter days this time of year, the risk to pedestrians increases. If you’ve been in an accident, it can be confusing whether or not you’re at fault. Here are some of your rights as a pedestrian:

  • The driver of a vehicle must give the right of way to a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk.
  • If you have been crossing a highway at a point other than in a crosswalk, you must give the right of way to an approaching vehicle.
  • Despite this, you are not necessarily at fault if you have been hit by a vehicle when not in a crosswalk.
  • The driver of an approaching vehicle is not excused from the duty to drive with due care and attention regardless of whether a pedestrian has complied with the rules.
  • A driver of a vehicle is required to reduce his or her speed in the presence of a pedestrian if it is clear that a danger to the pedestrian is present.
  • However, the duty to drive with due care and attention is not triggered by the presence of a pedestrian but requires the driver anticipate the possibility of this risk or danger to a pedestrian.

If your Thanksgiving gathering was cut short due to a motor vehicle accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. John Mickelson Law Corporation can help you acquire financial assistance and medical treatment. Our ICBC lawyers have the experience needed to maximize your personal injury settlement. Call us at (604) 684-0040 for a free consultation in our Vancouver, Surrey or new Abbotsford offices.

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