Wrong way driving leads to more fatal car crashes in the Southern Interior than anywhere else in B.C. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wrong way driving leads to more fatal car crashes in the Southern Interior than anywhere else in B.C.

The scene of a car crash at Highway 6 and Pottery Road in Vernon on Feb. 21, 2017.
Image Credit: Vernon Fire and Rescue Services
August 14, 2020 - 6:00 AM

While speed and distracted driving compete as the main cause of fatal car accidents in B.C., driving on the wrong side of the street is a strange, all too common cause in the Southern Interior.

The most recent data from ICBC on this issue is a bit dated, covering a five year period from 2013 to 2017.

During that time, speed was the number one contributing factor listed for fatal car crashes at 409 followed by distracted driving at 385. But, distracted driving was listed as the number one cause in three of the five years.

Finishing third, with 338 deaths, was impaired driving, although it tied with speeding for second spot in 2017 at 70 and only three behind that year’s number one cause, distracted driving.

There’s not a huge variation in these factors between the four regions ICBC identifies for B.C.

Road conditions (ice, snow, slush and water) came in fourth at 203.

But, number five on the provincial list is driving on the wrong side of the road, listed as a cause in 148 deaths.

That’s only ranked number five because it’s far too common in the Southern Interior and, proportionately, even worse in the North Central region.

Of the 148 crashes noted, 65 of them were in the Southern Interior. That’s 43 per cent of the deaths whereas only 16 per cent of licenced drivers are registered as living in the region.

The proportion is worse in the North Central region that had 45 such crashes, a whopping 30.4 per cent of the total even though just over one per cent of B.C. drivers live in that region.

By comparison, the Lower Mainland only had 27 such accidents. That’s 18 per cent, while that region has 58.6 per cent of the province’s drivers.

Rounding out the top 10 reasons for fatal crashes in all of B.C. were: failure to yield right of way (142), weather (fog, sleet, rain, snow at 114), ignoring traffic control devices (73), pedestrian error/confusion (63) and driver error/confusion (59).

Image Credit: Submitted/ICBC

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