Deadly long weekend on the roads: 8 fatal accidents reported
Thanksgiving weekend is always one of the worst for traffic accidents in the Lower Mainland, but this year’s has been especially bad.
As of Tuesday, there had been eight fatal accidents recorded in and around Metro Vancouver over the holiday weekend. According to ICBC, the average number is just three.
On Sunday night, a 52-year-old man pushing a shopping cart across Lougheed Highway near 204th Street in Maple Ridge was struck and killed by a car. In a similar incident on Saturday night in Coquitlam, a 75-year-old man was hit by a van and killed while crossing Dewdney Trunk Road near Mariner Way.
In both cases, it was dark and rainy at the time of the accident. Surrey RCMP Sgt. Duane Honeyman told CTV News that during dry weather like that experienced throughout the region over the summer, a film of vehicular fluid builds up on the roads, making them especially dangerous when it rains.
Honeyman’s detachment is investigating the role heavy rain played in a string of crashes in Surrey this weekend, the most serious of which claimed a woman’s life on Highway 10.
Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for Monday afternoon and evening in Metro Vancouver. Drivers should exercise caution, Honeyman said.
“You can slow down your speed and increase your distance from the car in front of you,” he said. “It just gives you a cushion for you react to what does come out.”
Glen Gillis, manager of Canadian Tire in Vancouver, told CTV News that drivers can also take steps to prepare their vehicles for the more dangerous conditions that fall and winter bring.
Replacing worn-out windshield wiper blades, making sure all of a car’s lights work, and switching to winter tires can all make driving safer, he said.
“With the summer that we had, with very little rainfall, there’s so much film and so much build-up on our streets and highways that the roads are extremely slick out there,” Gillis said. “These first few rainfalls that we’re seeing, I think it catches a lot of drivers off guard.”
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim and Alex Turner