Saanich police are reminding motorists to drive with care, especially when the weather is poor, after two drivers hydroplaned and collided with utility poles on the Pat Bay Highway this week.
On Wednesday (Dec. 16) evening, a driver heading southbound lost control on the wet roads, veered off the highway and hit an aluminum pole, said Const. Markus Anastasiades. The pole was knocked over and the two occupants were left with minor injuries – one was taken to the hospital.
Three days earlier, a nearly identical incident took place on the Pat Bay Highway near Sayward Road. Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, a southbound driver lost control, slid off the road and crashed into a wooden utility pole. Anastasiades said a witness recounted watching the vehicle flip before severing the pole. The two occupants were taken to hospital with what turned out to be minor injuries.
It’s “unusual” to have two hydroplaning incidents in one week with drivers hitting utility poles, Anastasiades said. Both incidents took place in southbound lanes of the highway where, he noted, water is known to pool.
investigations are ongoing for both incidents so Anastasiades couldn’t say if the drivers were speeding, but he emphasized that all drivers should reduce their speed in poor weather conditions.
“Regardless of the posted limits, they should adjust their speed relative to the road and weather conditions,” he explained, adding that driving slower and mirroring other drivers behaving safely is recommended in poor weather.
Anastasiades added that this is a good time of year for drivers to check their tire tread depth, headlights and wipers to ensure the vehicle is in good condition to handle wet roads.
“We’re heading into a time of year where the condition of your vehicle is never more important,” he said.