The province of British Columbia has some unique geographical challenges that increase road risk in the region. B.C.’s distinct highway network traverses mountains and valleys, connecting towns in a scenic fashion.
Global News put together a handy list for the worst B.C. roads, and because it’s a bit dated, we’ll supplement their information with some recent collision reports on each roadway.
Whether the scenery distracts road users or negatively impacts road conditions is up for debate, but drivers in B.C. should be aware of the roads that pose them the most risk, based on fatal collision data. If you find yourself travelling through British Columbia, or use these roads frequently, you need to exercise extreme caution and make sure you have proper collision coverage.
Highway 1, between Golden and Revelstoke
This 148 km stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway has been a contender for worst highway in the country for some time.
With long two-lane stretches without dividers or medians, limited shoulders, and the fact that the road crawls and cuts up a mountainside, the beautiful scenery is starkly contrasted with its high volume of major accidents.
Fatal accidents continue to occur on this portion of Highway 1, even despite the best measures made by government at road improvement. From 2004 to 2013, 38 fatal crashes happened between Golden and Revelstoke, while an additional 17 fatal accidents happened just outside of these borders on the same highway.
In December of last 2017, one person was killed and four others hospitalized in a noon-hour collision on Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway, just west of Revelstoke. Two vehicles going in the opposite direction crashed head-on, according to RCMP via CBC News.
Lougheed Highway, between Burnaby and Mission
In 2013, this portion of Highway 7 had hosted the most fatal collisions in all of British Columbia. The road itself was built in 1941 before a population boom, and this portion between Burnaby and Mission narrows into a two-lane highway, though several adjacent parts of the same highway have four lanes of room. The high traffic volume combined with the narrowing road means drivers should be alert at all times if driving on Lougheed.
This winding road had seen 33 fatal crashes over a ten-year period, and that number unfortunately still grows.
On September 21, 2018, one person was killed in a pickup truck crash that ended up shutting down the highway in Burnaby for “several hours” after it occurred around 1:30 am. Slick road conditions played a factor in the crash that threw the vehicle into a ditch, killing the driver and sending two passengers to hospital.
Coquihalla Highway, between Merritt and Hope
The Coquihalla stretch of Highway 5 takes drivers right over a mountain range on an uneven surface elevated over 1,000 metres. The TV series Highway Thru Hell more or less immortalized the roadway as one of Canada’s worst, despite how “structurally sound” it may be.
Poor driving and unnecessary road risks paint this gorgeous area approaching Kamloops emergency red.
On July 31, 2018, CTV News reported that a “fiery crash on B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway caused a brush fire and a second deadly accident late Monday [after] two transport trucks collided about 50 kilometres north of Hope.”