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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With December 21st being the shortest day of the year, holidays are here, and ICBC wants British Columbians to enjoy a safe holiday season on the roads.

In the North Central region, an average of 15 people are injured in 75 crashes every year at Christmas. On New Year’s, an average of one person dies and seven are injured in 45 crashes in the region every year.

According to a release, over 1,900 crashes happen every year during the holidays, injuring more than 540 people in British Columbia.

That amounts to 23 crashes every hour, and sadly, three deaths on average per year.

ICBC has some helpful tips to stay safe during the holidays.

First, checking travel alerts, restrictions and weather reports will give a better picture of what road conditions might be like. For provincial travel restrictions, visit the B.C. government website. For up-to-the-minute road conditions, visit the DriveBC website.

Keeping tabs on your vehicle will help ensure it is winter-ready. Most B.C. highways in the north require winter tires. Residents can check the Ministry of Transportation website for a list of roads that require winter tires. Also, keeping an emergency kit in the car and topping up on windshield wiper fluid are recommended.

Driving at a safe speed for the conditions is imperative. Icy, snowy or wet roads require more time to slow down, so cars need to be at a safe following distance from each other.

Avoid distractions like cell phones while driving. Make calls or charge devices while at a rest stop rather than while driving.

Lastly, call or arrange a safe ride home if anyone has been drinking.

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