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.
The BC Coroners Service released the updated data in its report, Motor Vehicle Incident Deaths – 2008-2018. It shows 314 motor vehicle deaths in British Columbia in 2018, up from 299 in 2017, yet still below the annual average of 326 per year during the past decade.
One-third of the total number of deaths (34%) between 2008 and the most recently available data available from 2016 resulted from incidents involving drugs and/or alcohol.
Between 2011 and 2016, 29% of drivers and passengers who died were not wearing a restraint, which is defined as a seat belt or child car-seat straps.
The BC Coroners Service also updated its motorcycle-involved fatality report, which captures a rise in deaths involving motorcyclists. In 2018, 16% of the 314 deaths involved motorcycles or mopeds. This number is 5% higher than the 11% average over the past decade.
In 2018 alone, there were 51 motorcyclist deaths. This is the highest annual total for the past decade and a 50% increase over 2017.
During the past 10 years, more than two-thirds (69%) of the decedents were male. Approximately one-third of all motor-vehicle incident deaths during this time period occurred in the Interior Health Authority region.