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Complacency on British Columbia winter roads is life-threatening

Regardless of how many winters a driver has successfully navigated British Columbia roads, unanticipated snow and ice could cause accidents in the blink of an eye. Whether it is a local driver travelling across the border to Seattle, or a Washington driver heading to Vancouver, winter driving hazards pose cross-border personal injury risks. 

Adjust speed to match road conditions

Posted speed limits are for perfect conditions. Winter weather is unpredictable and could change several times a day. Drivers must adjust their speed and their following distances accordingly. It is better to arrive late than wind up in an accident. Gradual acceleration and braking are crucial, and alert drivers who anticipate lane changes, turns and stops early face fewer crash risks. 

Black ice — the hidden hazard

Black ice is typically not visible in advance, and coming across it unexpectedly is dangerous. It is best to reduce speed when approaching overpasses, bridges and shaded areas. Those are typically the first areas where black ice forms. The failure to slow down could cause a skid as the car’s wheels encounter black ice, and even drivers who know how to handle a skid might be caught unawares. 

Road maintenance equipment

Low visibility in adverse winter weather makes it difficult to spot sand or salt trucks, snowplows and road maintenance workers. Similarly, drivers must ensure they are visible to operators of road maintenance equipment. To see and be seen is crucial. 

In the event of an accident caused by one driver’s negligence, any injured victims might have grounds to pursue financial relief. A civil lawsuit can be filed in either British Columbia or Washington state, depending on the crash location. The legal and insurance process could be significantly more complicated it is a case of an accident across the border.