EDITORIAL: Don’t assume you’ll be seen

Road users of all kinds need to be aware of poor visibility conditions

We’ve all been there, driving down a poorly lit stretch of road in the pouring rain, desperately trying to make out the lane markers and trying to see past the windshield wipers screeching at full speed.

All of a sudden a cyclist or another car veers into your lane, or worse, your own car begins hydroplaning out of control.

It’s a nightmare no motorist wants to experience, but unfortunately it leads to tragic results seen too often by first responders. Slowing down for poor road conditions may be logical, but it’s a strategy often forgotten by drivers anxious to reach their destination and surging forward at dangerous speeds.

Between November and January, speed-related crashes resulting in injuries or fatalities increase by more than 50 per cent across the province, according to ICBC. There are on average 250 crashes a month in those months, including about 40 on Vancouver Island. Driving too fast for the conditions is a major factor.

It’s the time of year when the days get darker by the minute and the weather is a far cry from summer sunshine. During these winter months, many motorists find themselves spending more time behind the wheel after dark.

While it is crucial that motorists exercise more caution, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users share a responsibility to make themselves seen in the dark.

Non-drivers may think they’re visible to motorists, but wearing reflective clothing, installing lights on a bike, or carrying a flashing light of some sort is the best way to help ensure you’ll be seen.

The numbers are clear: motorists in general can see pedestrians and cyclists with reflective or flashing items from up to 500 feet away. Without such items – or worse, if you’re wearing dark clothing – that number drops down to 100 feet before most drivers have a chance of seeing you.

To the joggers, walkers, cyclists and other road users out there, don’t assume you’ll be seen. Leaving your safety to chance is not something you want to risk your life on.

Just Posted

New bike facility pitched for View Royal Park

Park would encourage more youth to ride

Summit at Royal Bay helps ignite students’ passions

Students from around B.C. attended event at Royal Bay Secondary

Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

Cost of living increase drives region’s living wage up 49 cents, leaving you able to afford only one latte per year

Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Greater Victoria faces multiple charges following six-month investigation

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

Canadian musician duets with ancestral Indigenous voices on debut album

Toronto’s Jeremy Dutcher has mixed his operatic tenor with his Wolastoq First Nation roots

Toronto sports fans come together in wake of van attack

Police probe Toronto van attack as details emerge

Prince William to be Harry’s best man

Prince William will be Prince Harry’s best man at May wedding

Humboldt arena memorial ring to be removed

Arena ring of tribute to Saskatchewan hockey team to be removed as summer nears

14 galaxies set to collide and form colossal cluster

Astronomers say this could be the largest structures in the universe

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Cordova Bay atop Greater Victoria elementary schools in Fraser Institute rankings

“It’s bad science… hopefully this is the last one,” says local union rep of ranking

Most Read