Vehicle crashes in the Castlegar area dropped significantly in 2020 according to the latest stats released by ICBC.
There were 510 reported crashes in 2020, compared to 629 in 2019 — a 19-per-cent drop. Over the last five years, the area has seen a total of 2941 crashes.
In 2020, 83 of those crashes involved an injury or a death, while the remainder only resulted in property damage.
The ICBC report shows that the two places in Castlegar where you are most likely to get into an accident are on Columbia Avenue (170 crashes) or in a parking lot (151 crashes).
Hot spots along Columbia Avenue included the highway interchanges and ramps, the intersection near Safeway (18th Street) and the 24th Street intersection.
A small number of local crashes involved pedestrians (4), cyclists (2) or motorcycles (6). But there were 66 crashes that involved animals.
ICBC paid out millions of dollars in rebates to customers this spring from money saved due to fewer crashes across the province related to less travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the Southern Interior, the leading cause of fatal accidents over a five-year span was driver distraction at 153 deaths followed by speed at 134 deaths and impaired driving at 113 deaths. Road conditions were blamed for 75 deaths and weather for 30.
There were 4366 vehicles registered in Castlegar in 2020. That includes 14 electric vehicles (up from 10 in 2019) and 67 hybrid vehicles.