One-third of B.C. traffic fatalities in last decade involved drugs or alcohol: coroner

Click to play video: 'Coquihalla crash highlights preventable factors in deadly accidents' Coquihalla crash highlights preventable factors in deadly accidents
WATCH: As we learn more about Thursday's fatal crash on the Coquihalla highway, the B.C. coroner is revealing two preventable factors that are killing drivers on the road. Nadia Stewart reports – May 17, 2019

Drugs or alcohol were contributing factors in the deaths of one-third of people killed in B.C. over the last decade, according to a new report form the BC Coroners Service.

Nearly the same number, 29 per cent, died in crashes where failure to wear a seat belt or use a car seat were contributing factors, the report said.

Men were were more than 20 per cent more likely to die in a crash while not wearing a seat belt, the report also found.

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A second report also found another startling trend: a steep hike in the number of people killed while riding motorcycles.

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Click to play video: 'Fatal crash at Peace Arch Border Crossing' Fatal crash at Peace Arch Border Crossing
Fatal crash at Peace Arch Border Crossing – May 2, 2019

The coroners service says 51 of the 314 fatalities on the roads last year (16 per cent) involved motorcycles or mopeds, five per cent higher than the average over the last decade.

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That’s the highest number in the last 10 years, and 50 per cent higher than 2017, the report found.

More than a third of the deaths over the last decade occurred in the Interior Health Region.

The Fraser Health Region had the second highest number of fatalities at 26 per cent, while the Vancouver Coastal Health region had the fewest, just 10 per cent.

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