ROAD SAFETY

Road-related incidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death across all ages in BC.1

Each year, over 270 people are killed on public roads in BC.2

OVERVIEW

Each day, over 760 traffic crashes happen in BC, with about 150 being serious or fatal accidents.3 Most of the injuries resulting from collisions involve vehicle drivers and passengers; however, injury also occurs among vulnerable road users—pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Speeding, distracted driving (e.g., phone use and texting), and impaired driving (using alcohol, drugs, or medications) are the leading contributing factors for motor vehicle collisions.
In 2023, the total cost of transport incidents in British Columbia was $575 million. This includes $364 million in direct costs, like healthcare expenses, and $211 million in indirect costs, such as lost productivity.4

 

 

Each year, more than 78,000 people are injured in motor vehicle crashes in BC.5

RESEARCH

BCIRPU supports road safety efforts at the policy, practice, and community levels. Road safety for all is one of the provincial priorities for injury prevention.

CHASE Study

The CHASE study (Child Active Transportation Safety and the Environment) is exploring how municipalities implement built environment changes in order to increase active transportation. Built environment changes, such as pedestrian-controlled lights at crosswalks, are used to reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes and injury among pedestrians and cyclists, as well as motor vehicle occupants.

The goal of Objective 3 of the CHASE study is to identify implementation strategies for built environment change at the municipal level to encourage safe, active transportation. Key informant interviews are being conducted in Vancouver and the surrounding area with those who have worked on projects involving optimizing the built environment—such as urban planners, researchers, school board representatives, and provincial transportation authorities—in order to identify the facilitators and barriers for implementing built environment change at the municipal level.6

PREVENTION

The safe systems approach to road safety looks to implement evidence-based measures for:7,8

  • Safe drivers
  • Safe speeds
  • Safe roads
  • Safe vehicles

RESOURCES

DATA

News

1.Provincial injury prevention priorities. (2017). BC Injury Prevention Committee. Available at: http://www.bccdc.ca/pop-public-health/Documents/bcipc-provincial-injury-prevention-priorities-2017.pdf

2. Business Information Warehouse – Traffic Accident System, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Data as of March 31st, 2023. Retrieved from Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT), BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, 2023.

3. ICBC. Quick Statistics: Crashes and Casualty Crashes. 5-year average from 2018-2022. Available from: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/icbc/viz/QuickStatistics-Crashandcasualtycrashes/CrashesCasualtyCrashes

4. Rajabali F, Zheng A, Turcotte K, Bruin S, Pike I. (2022). Cost of Injury in British Columbia 2022. BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit: Vancouver, BC. [Cost from 2018 converted to 2023 dollars using the Bank of Canada inflation calculator]

5. ICBC. Quick Statistics: Injured victims. 5-year average from 2018-2022. Available from: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/icbc/viz/QuickStatistics-Injuredvictims/InjuredVictims

­6. Hagel, B. E., Macpherson, A., Howard, A., Fuselli, P., Cloutier, M. S., Winters, M., … & Hubka, T. (2019). The built environment and active transportation safety in children and youth: a study protocol. BMC public health, 19(1), 1-13.

7. Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. Canada’s Road Safety Strategy; 2025: Towards Zero: the Safest Roads in the World (2016). Available at: https://roadsafetystrategy.ca/web/road-safety-strategy/files/public/docs/RSS-2025-Report-January-2016-with%20cover.pdf

8.  Government of BC. (2016). PHO’s Annual Report: Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-Being in BC. Available from: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/reports-publications/annual-reports/reducing-motor-vehicle-crashes-bc.pdf