2016 deadliest year on Manitoba roadways in a decade: motorists encouraged to think road safety

Manitoba Public Insurance is issuing a renewed call to road safety action for all road users in 2017, after recording the deadliest year on Manitoba highways in a decade.

Based on preliminary data, in 2016 there were 101 fatal collisions on public roadways in Manitoba which resulted in the deaths of 112 people. These numbers contrast with 69 collisions and 78 fatalities in 2015.

“2016 was a tragic year for road fatalities in Manitoba,” said Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler. “Not since 2006 have we lost as many people in motor vehicle collisions and our sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of the 112 Manitobans who lost their lives in roadway crashes.”

“These terrible outcomes must serve as a reminder to all Manitobans to drive safely in 2017,” said Schuler.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance data, another 19 Manitobans lost their lives in snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle collisions in 2016.

Although the full analysis of motor vehicle fatalities is not yet complete, preliminary data shows an alarming increase in impaired driving, distracted driving, speed, and not wearing seatbelts as contributing factors in the fatal collisions recorded.

“To stay safe on our roads and not put other road users at risk, all drivers need to think about road safety every time they get behind the wheel,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development and Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Buckling up all the time, driving to road and weather conditions, not driving when impaired by alcohol or drugs, or while distracted – these are all simple reminders that can help to prevent being involved in a collision. They can also literally make the difference between life and death,” said Keith.

In issuing the call to action for road safety in 2017, Manitoba Public Insurance encourages all drivers to model safe and responsible driving behaviours by following these simple safety tips:

Safety Tips Which Could Save a Life

  1. Have a plan before you head out for an evening of partying. Take a cab home or have a designated driver selected beforehand.
  2. If you must text or answer the phone, pull your vehicle over to a safe area. Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road and significantly increases the chance of being involved in a collision.
  3. Never get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or consuming drugs. It could be the last thing you do.
  4. Speed kills! Be aware of the posted speed limit and drive to road and weather conditions.
  5. Buckle up – every time, whether you’re a driver or passenger, and no matter how short your trip is. It takes one second and could very well save your life.
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