FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The increase in vehicle incidents in the Peace region highlights the importance for drivers in Northern B.C. to take necessary precautions.

The Shift Into Winter campaign looks to help drivers with useful tips to understand and mitigate the risk of winter driving.

According to a release from Road Safety at Work on Tuesday, driving at this time of year more than doubles the risk of being in a motor vehicle crash in Northern B.C.

“Winter is Mother Nature’s ultimate road test. Winter conditions can change quickly in the Peace River region and push your driving skills to the limit,” said Louise Yako, campaign spokesperson.

“Even the most experienced drivers are challenged by cold temperatures, slippery roads and reduced visibility. We want drivers to shift into winter by preparing for winter driving before winter weather hits. The time to do that is now.”

The average number of casualty crashes from excessive speed more than doubles from fall to early winter, from around 99 in September to nearly 220 in December, according to police statistics from 2015 to 2019.

“Even the most experienced drivers are at risk when weather conditions change. On average, more than 20 workers are killed and another 1,500 are injured each year due to work-related motor vehicle incidents—with the majority occurring in winter,” said Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC.

“We want to remind employers and supervisors of their responsibility for the safety of all workers who drive as part of their jobs—whether they are in a company vehicle or their own.”

The new law requiring all vehicles in B.C. to have winter tires with at least 3.5 millimetres runs in line with the start of the Shift Into Winter campaign. As of October 1st, winter tires or chains are required on all vehicles on most highways in the province. Those rules are in place until at least March 31st, and in some cases on certain mountain passes, April 30th.

The following tips are recommended for Northern B.C. drivers this winter:

Visit the Shift Into Winter website for more information on how to stay safe on the roads this winter.