FILE – Not wearing a seatbelt or being impaired were topped the list of causes for fatal car crashes. (AP)

FILE – Not wearing a seatbelt or being impaired were topped the list of causes for fatal car crashes. (AP)

Drugs, alcohol and lack of seatbelts top reasons for fatal car crashes: B.C. coroner

Nearly one-third of fatal car crash victims were not wearing seatbelts

Nearly one-third of those who died in car crashes in B.C. were not wearing a seatbelt, according to the BC Coroners Service.

In a report released Thursday, the coroner said 29 per cent of those who were killed in a crash between 2011 and 2016 were not wearing either a seatbelt or a child car seat.

The report found that 71 per cent of women used a seatbelt, compared with just 49 per cent of men.

Men were also more likely to die in car crashes, with 69 per cent of victims being male compared to 31 per cent of women.

The report found 61 per cent of those killed were drivers or passengers, while 18 per cent were pedestrians and 11 per cent were motorcycle riders.

Cyclists and commercial drivers each made up another three per cent of fatalities, and users of motorized scooters made up one per cent.

Alcohol or drugs were factors in 34 per cent of fatal crashes, with more than 50 per cent of drivers under the age of 40 impaired at the time of their deaths.

The summer months were the most deadly; 39 people died in June compared with 24 in December, the deadliest month of the 2018 winter.

The Interior Health region was home to one-third of the 314 people who were killed in car crashes in 2018. The Fraser Health area was the second most deadly at 77 deaths and Vancouver island was the third-deadliest at 49 deaths.

READ MORE: Six deadly crashes on B.C. highways prompt police warning

READ MORE: B.C.-wide blitz over Victoria Day long weekend aims to catch speeding drivers


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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