There are fewer traffic fatalities in British Columbia compared to a decade ago, a new report by the B.C. Coroners Service shows. But many deaths appear to have been preventable, suggesting the number remains much higher than it could be.
According to the coroner’s analysis, from 2008 to 2016, more than one-third of traffic fatalities involved drugs or alcohol. And from 2011 to 2016, nearly two-thirds of driver and passenger deaths involved people who were not wearing seatbelts.
“A lack of restraint use, along with drug and/or alcohol involvement, was noted as a contributory factor to recent motor vehicle incident deaths in British Columbia, according to the most recent data published by the BC Coroners Service,” reads a May 16 media release.
There were 314 traffic fatalities across B.C. in 2018.
That compares to 377 deaths in 2008 and an average of 326 deaths per year for the period analyzed.
The rate of traffic fatalities has declined from 8.7 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2008 to 6.3 in 2018.
From 2008 to 2018, 42 percent of people who died in car accidents were a vehicle’s driver, 19 percent were passengers, and 18 percent were pedestrians.