As we approach the last long weekend of the summer for BC residents, it is important to recognize that while sun-drenched long weekends open up an opportunity to explore, they also increase the risk of injury to persons and damage or theft of property. So, to help ensure you can fully enjoy any final summer excursions with no regrets, Park has laid out important “best practices” below.
The Ultimate Guide to Safer Travels Through Summer Season Long Weekends in and Around BC
1. Drive More Defensively
ICBC reports that on average there are an estimated 2,400 crashes over August’s BC Day long weekend. Recent data from ICBC also indicates that approximately 2,100 crashes occur over the September long weekend, with an average of six people killed and nearly 600 injured. When you add those numbers up you can clearly see the call to be more diligent when driving over these three day stretches.
Park Insurance has extensively covered safe driving initiatives, and provided guides that apply to your long weekend summer road trips. Please reference the following before hitting the road:
- 5 Things Inside Your Car That May Block Your Vision
- 5 Ways to Resist the Urge to Speed
- 5 Tips to Keeping off Your Phone When Driving
- 5 Other Distractions While Driving
- 5 Ways to Prevent Driver Fatigue on Road Trips
- 7 Long Distance Carpool Safety Tips
2. don’t forget travel medical
BC residents neglect to get travel medical for long weekend trips all of the time. Sure, you purchase coverage when taking a week or two week (etc.) vacation to international destinations, but when it comes to long weekend jaunts across the border you may either forget or neglect to get coverage. A short shopping trip to Bellingham may seem harmless but the smallest accident (i.e. a slip and fall at the mall) can put you in financial ruin. Whether crossing the border for a few days or just an hour, confirm appropriate travel medical coverage with your broker. View more on why BC residents need better coverage for both international and national travel.
3. secure your rv
British Columbia ranks third among all provinces when it comes to Canadian households owning or having access to a recreational vehicle, with a total of 321, 349 motorhome owners. When the long weekends come, a proportionately large percentage of the RV population on the road is coming from BC, so we’d be remiss to exclude this segment from our list of safety tips. Please abide by the following:
- Only park (overnight) in designated RV lots/communities
- Keep the lights on when leaving the RV at night
- Secure additional locks for doors/windows, trailer, trailer hitch, and coupler
- Invest in a dedicated RV security system
- Add riders to your standard RV insurance policy
Note the details for each of these safety tips here.
4. camp smarter
Going camping for the long weekend? Being out there in the wilderness certainly presents a lot of risk, to personal and public safety alike. Before packing up your s’more kit please reference the following:
- Camp in designated areas where others will be camping
- When not in direct use (cooking/eating), keep food packed away to avoid attracting dangerous wildlife
- Monitor news reports before leaving as there may be warnings (re: wildlife or criminal activity) about your intended camp zone
- Pack enough food and water to last three additional days beyond your intended day of camp site departure
- Let someone you trust know where you’re camping, and when you are expected to return
The tips above will help protect your camping party and its possessions. However, you also have a responsibility to protect the camp site and surrounding area. This concern pertains to the ever-present risk of summertime forest fires in BC. Given that all forest fires are investigated to determine the cause, and a person can be found liable and held responsible for the costs of extinguishing and/or property damage, you need to be proactive in prevention. View our 5 step guide to preventing forest fires when camping.
5. Take Boat safety PRECAUTIONS seriously
Nearly everything above referenced road safety, but with the warm long weekend weather in BC and access to the coast along with a wide number of rivers and lakes, boat and watercraft safety is also paramount. Before your household heads for the water, please take note of the following:
- The operator must have a Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC)
- Carefully review BC’s Marine Liability Act
- Confirm that you have adequate boat insurance
View the details for each of these points here. With that out of the way, you will want to be extremely diligent when it comes to watercraft safety. This includes strict adherence to the following:
- Inspect and repair (as needed) the watercraft
- Mind the wind, precipitation, fog, swell, and tide forecast on the day of departure
- Make sure everyone on board is wearing an appropriate (to their height/weight) lifejacket/PFD
- Distribute weight (passengers and gear) evenly to avoid tipping
- Avoid alcohol (operators and passengers)
View the details for each of the above safety tips here, and contact Park Insurance today to make sure you have comprehensive boat and marine insurance before your next long weekend adventure on the water.