Top Causes of Car Accidents in BC (And How to Avoid Them)

Nobody ever anticipates being involved in an auto accident—let alone causing one themselves. Unfortunately, all it takes is one mistake to cause a serious accident resulting in injury or even death. High-risk driving accounts for nearly half of all vehicle accidents in BC each year, with an average of 143 fatalities occurring as a result of these behaviors. By understanding some of the most common behaviors leading to car accidents in BC and how to avoid them, you can better protect yourself and others while behind the wheel.

Ignoring Traffic Control Devices

Failing to follow traffic control devices, such as traffic lights, can result in serious accident and injury. Specifically, running red lights or failing to come to a complete stop before turning at a red light are both common causes of motor vehicle accidents in BC and the surrounding areas. To avoid these kinds of accidents, always stop when you hit a yellow light unless it is absolutely unsafe to do so. Furthermore, brake completely at red lights to check for traffic before turning (where legal). And of course, always glance both ways before passing through an intersection—even if you have a green light.

Tail-Gating/Following Too Closely

Failing to keep a safe following distance between cars in front of you can make it much more difficult to come to a sudden stop if needed. In ideal road conditions, make sure you have at least a few seconds of time between your vehicle and the one in front of you (even longer for slick road conditions or poor visibility). Doing so will give you more time to stop and reduce your chances of getting rear-ended as well.

Failing to Yield and Dangerous Passing

Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way and are especially vulnerable to serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision, so always yield to them if they are on the road, whether in a crosswalk or not. Furthermore, when turning left at an intersection, always yield to drivers traveling straight unless you have a green arrow. Even when it is your turn to turn left, make sure that all oncoming traffic has stopped before you enter the intersection; never assume other drivers will make the right choices. The same applies to passing or merging onto freeway on-ramps. Don’t assume that other drivers see you, especially if you’re near their blind spot. Instead, wait until you have plenty of room to merge or pass.


Unfortunately, speeding remains one of the most common causes of auto accidents in BC. Posted speed limit signs are in place for a reason, and when you exceed the speed limit, you also increase the amount of time and distance needed to stop safely if needed. This is especially true if you’re speeding in poor road conditions. To be safe, you should always drive the posted speed limit in ideal conditions and adjust your speed as needed if the roads are slick, icy, or if there is poor visibility due to rain or fog. By doing so, you will greatly reduce your chances of being in a serious accident.

By being aware of these common causes of road accidents and taking measures to actively avoid them, you could contribute to lower accident rates in the BC area in future years. If you’ve been in an accident and need assistance with your claim, contact our team at Becker, Lavin & Wessler today.

High-risk driving in B.C. (ICBC)

High-risk driving in B.C. (infographic) ICBC

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