Vehicle accidents account for more than 180 deaths in British Columbia each year, and hundreds more crash victims suffer life-changing injuries. According to statistics for 2015 through 2019, almost 70% of those who lost their lives were males. Furthermore, one in five victims were younger than 24 years old.
During that period, the average number of accident-related hospitalizations annually was just short of 1,500. Almost 60% were older than 20, and 55% were male. Six in every 10 crash-related injuries involved fractured bones. Most concerning are the contributing factors to car accident deaths, and most frequently, speeding was cited as the cause, followed by impairment and distracted driving.
Many car accidents are preventable
The BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit reports two-thirds of all injury-related fatalities of people older than 15 years in British Columbia were vehicle occupants. The organization recommends the following preventions:
- Avoid impairment: Drivers should keep in mind that prescription medicines could impair reaction time and perception in the same way as alcohol and recreational drugs, including cannabis.
- Buckle up: Drivers must always buckle up and ensure their passengers, including children, are secured by adequately installed seatbelts and child car seats.
- Avoid speeding: Always comply with posted speed limits, but slow down when travelling in adverse weather conditions.
- Avoid distractions: While cellphones use is distracting, note panel controls, noisy passengers and more cause risks as bad as texting and driving.
- Remain alert: Never forget to shoulder check when making turns or changing lanes, and be alert for motorcycles, bicycles and passengers at all times
Dealing with life-altering injuries and the many consequences or dealing with the death of a loved one in a crash is devastating. However, the trauma could be exacerbated if another person’s negligence caused the crash. Although no amount of money could replace the loss of a limb or a loved one, victims or surviving family members might be eligible for damage recovery through the British Columbia civil justice system.
Victims of cross-border personal injury must confront additional issues. It could involve Vancouver residents becoming crash victims while in Seattle or Washington State visitors in Vancouver. In both cases, both countries’ judicial and insurance laws and procedures may come into play.