05/16/2013 20:00 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Accidents and crashes expected to spike on long weekend

The Victoria Day long weekend is one of the busiest — and most dangerous — times of the year on B.C. roads, according to the ICBC.

An average of 1,700 crashes occur, 500 people are injured, and three people are killed due to crashes, the ICBC says. Of those crashes, 1,100 are in the Lower Mainland.

Nearly 50 per cent of crashes are the result of of risky driving according to ICBC manager Jill Blacklock.

"Following too closely, failure to yield the right of way, speeding and tailgating. These are behaviours that put you at much higher risk of being involved in a crash if you're taking part in these behaviours," says Blacklock.

And that's why police are warning people to take it easy on the road this weekend and avoid the risk of a traffic fine or worse.

“We want everyone to enjoy their May long weekend – and we want their friends and families to arrive at their destinations safely. So we will be out early to remind the travelling public to drive safe when using B.C. roadway this weekend,” said RCMP Cpl. Robert McDonald of the Lower Mainland Traffic service.

Expect border waits too...

Meanwhile, travellers are also being warned to expect long line-ups at the U.S-Canada border as the Victoria Day long weekend approaches.

Border officials say they expect 83,000 people to make their way through the Peace Arch border crossing this weekend, and are reminding drivers there are ways to help reduce traffic congestion.

"A lot of people because of GPS end up just coming down the I-5 Corridor here between Douglas and the Peace Arch, and yet a mile away is the Pacific Highway Truck Crossing which always has less wait time," said Thomas Schreiber, Chief U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer.

Schreiber also says it is important to keep in mind what you can bring with you across the border.

"The biggest concern we have in holiday travel season is people traveling with food," he said. "So my advice is if you can eat it, pack it, grow it, hunt it or fish it, leave it at home."

Canadian border officials say travellers need to remember to keep receipts of any purchases made in the U.S.

As Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday, traffic heading into the U.S. is expected to peak on Saturday morning, while traffic heading back to Canada is expected to peak on Monday night.