The overall impact of traumatic injury in B.C. is staggering. Traumatic injury is the principle cause of death for people under age 45 in Canada.
As the Victoria Day long weekend is the annual start to road trip season, people of B.C. are reminded to have a plan to stay safe on the roads, and to think ahead before they get behind the wheel or head out on foot.
According to the BC Coroners Service, Motor Vehicle Incident Deaths 2012-2021:
- Motor vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of moderate-to-severe injury hospitalizations in British Columbia. In 2021 in B.C., males accounted for 70% of motor vehicle incident (MVI) deaths. One-third (33%) were aged 19-39, followed by individuals aged 40-59 (28%).
- The months with the highest number of deaths were July (25.1), August (29.4) and September (25.2)
Trauma Awareness Week runs from May 14 to 20 and provides an opportunity to share strategies for preventing traumatic injuries.
“Having a plan and thinking ahead is a first step. Keep a basic emergency kit in your vehicle, and be aware of your driving behaviour,” says Dr. David Evans, trauma surgeon and Medical Director, Research and Analytics Unit, Trauma Services BC.
- Are you a distracted driver?
- Avoid driving when tired
- Leave your cell phone alone
- Do your grooming at home – not behind the wheel
- Are you a distracting passenger? Don’t draw the driver’s attention away from the road.
Have items in it for emergencies, and stay warm and hydrated if you have to wait for help.
- Basic First Aid Kit with manual
- Flashlight with extra batteries, or hand-crank flashlight/radio
- Fire extinguisher - ABC type
- Booster cables
- Survival blanket, warm clothing
- Bottled water + non-perishable high-energy foods