Darkness and rainy weather can combine to create deadly consequences for pedestrians

Rain and darkness can be a deadly combination

ICBC stats show nine out of 10 drivers worry about hitting a pedestrian at night, particularly in wet weather.

A survey released by ICBC has revealed that nine out of 10 drivers worry about hitting a pedestrian at night, particularly in wet weather.

At the same time, 8 out of 10 pedestrians don’t feel safe in these same conditions.

To help address the situation, the provincial government and police are launching a pedestrian safety campaign across the province to raise awareness of the dangers represented by the increased hours of darkness combined with reduced visibility due to our rainy winter.

“I cringe when I see see people, especially young people, dressed in dark colours with no reflective material whatsoever walking along the roadside on a rainy night. They seem unaware that they are making themselves very hard to see and that could lead to them being badly injured or even losing their life,” said Staff Sargent Jeff McArthur, Detachment Commander of the Sooke RCMP.

“There are all kinds of reflective safety gear out there these days and it only makes sense to wear it if you venture out on a dark, rainy night.”

READ MORE: Elderly man struck by vehicle in Aldergrove

That same message is part of the ICBC campaign after it statistics revealed a disproportionate number of pedestrian-related crashes and injuries happen in just four months of the year — 43 per cent of all crashes that injure pedestrians happen between October and January as visibility and conditions get worse.

Dark and rainy conditions can seriously impact visibility, and that’s why community policing volunteers will be handing our reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.

READ MORE: Pedestrian complained about feeling ‘invisible’ in crosswalk

The other aspect of the safety equation is, of course, the behaviour of the drivers.

“Three-quarters of pedestrian crashes happen at intersections,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “Unfortunately, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to be hurt when involved in a crash. These crashes contribute to the rising number of injury claims in our province, which is the largest single cost pressure on B.C. insurance rates, but the reality is, these crashes are preventable. We all need to do our part to keep our roads and pedestrians safe.”

Every year in B.C. an average of 59 pedestrians are killed and 2,500 are injured.

READ MORE: Surrey pedestrian killed after possible hit-and-run

“It’s important for drivers to slow down and be extra vigilant at this time of year,” said McArthur. “It’s a matter of assessing your own abilities as a driver and slowing down to the point where you are confident that you can pick up peripheral objects.”

For some drivers, added McArthur, that self assessment should result in deciding not to drive during certain conditions. For some older drivers who don’t feel confident after dark in the rain, or for drivers who’s vision may have deteriorated this may be a reasonable, responsible course of action.

Regional statistics

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 1,400 crashes at intersections involve a pedestrian every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 190 crashes at intersections involve a pedestrian every year.

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP investigate after girl says suspicious person followed her in Whalley

Young girl was walking in the 14400-block of 102nd avenue Wednesday morning

Surrey MLAs share stage with Sikh separatist slogan

Liberal MLAs declined to after seeing controversial banner

Canucks Autism Network ‘birthday festival’ to bring concerts, beer garden to Surrey

Single-day event in July will mark CAN’s 10th anniversary

RCMP seeks dash cam footage in Cloverdale hit and run

RCMP believe same Acura TL involved in two accidents within minutes of each other

‘Art of Dance’ show in Surrey marks International Dance Day

Annual event this Sunday at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre

VIDEO: Police Recovered Goods auction in Surrey includes 300-plus bikes, jewelry, more

Annual event to be held Saturday, April 28 at Able Auction’s Newton location

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

UPDATE: 83-year-old convicted murderer back in custody

RCMP have captured Ralph Whitfield Morris who escaped from Mission Institution

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Municipal election loophole will be fixed, premier says

Union, corporate donations still allowed for slate party ‘operational’ needs

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Most Read