Increase in accidents cause for concern

Grassi Lakes Parking Lot
Busy Grassi Lakes Parking Lot - BVN File Photo

The increase in tourists in Alberta can be seen not only on the busy roads, restaurants & bars , parks and hiking trails, but also in the increase in accidents and fatalities especially in lakes and rivers, where the amount of deadly accidents is almost double compared with last year. (16 have drowned in lakes, rivers and streams in Alberta this year so far).

In last March, April, and May self-isolation due to COVID-19 was hard for many Canadians who made the decision of visiting Kananaskis Country, Canmore, Banff and their surrounding areas this summer. Going for a hike or to the beach are fun activities and stress relievers, so it is very beneficial for people to be in contact with nature and relax. But it is also important to take care of yourself, others and the environment.

There are different possible reasons behind this “near doubling” in numbers of fatal accidents in the Canadian Rockies. One reason is that tourists may be unfamiliar with the places where they want to go and they do not read about them before going. It is understandable that people prefer to go to “less busy areas” in order to avoid COVID-19 spread, but that attitude is dangerous because less busy areas are not patrolled by lifeguards or national park officers. So, it is especially important to inform yourself about the place you want to visit and its dangers. Other possible reasons behind the high number of deaths this year are the many hot summer days and the closure of municipal swimming pools and recreation facilities in cities and towns.

Covid-19 has been an exceedingly difficult test for all countries around the world, but also it gives us an incredibly good insight about what we must improve as a society. This year most of the tourists in the Canadian Rockies have been Canadians, so all the problems we have seen regarding garbage, lack of respect of the local regulations and public spaces are mainly issues between fellow Canadians.