2017 Manitoba road fatalities second lowest in 35 years: Manitoba Public Insurance

With 73 people killed last year in 65 fatal collisions, 2017 was one of the safest years on Manitoba public roadways since 1982, based on preliminary analysis released by Manitoba Public Insurance. 2017 results were second only to 2014 when 68 fatalities were reported.

“While it is very positive that road fatalities in 2017 were the second lowest in the last 35 years in Manitoba, the fact that 73 lives were lost is a stark reminder that much work still needs to be done to change the driving culture within our province,” said Ward Keith, vice-president of Business Development and Communications, CAO, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“We must remember that behind these numbers are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, good friends and co-workers. Road safety is very much a partnership between motorists, other road users, and road safety agencies within our province.”

Based on preliminary data from 2017, there were 65 fatal collisions on public roadways in Manitoba which resulted in 73 deaths ─ a 32 per cent decrease from 2016 when 107 deaths were reported.

Although the full analysis of motor vehicle collisions in 2017 is still in progress, preliminary data shows that impaired driving, distracted driving, speed, and not wearing seatbelts continue to be primary contributing factors in fatal collisions, which once again demonstrates that the majority of these tragic losses could have been prevented.

Included in the 73 losses were seven motorcyclists and 11 pedestrians. There were no cyclists killed in 2017, according to the preliminary counts.

Recently, Manitoba Public Insurance put out a call to action, asking all road users to make 2018 the safest year in history on Manitoba roadways. The province’s public auto insurer, in partnership with MADD Canada, has also launched an awareness and education campaign providing Manitobans the information they need to make safe decisions when it comes to driving after consuming cannabis, and to understand how, similar to alcohol, cannabis and other drugs can impair driving ability.

“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 Keith. “Buckling up all the time, driving to road and weather conditions, not driving when impaired by alcohol or drugs, or while distracted – 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.”

Safety tips which could save a life

  1. Have a plan before you head out for an evening of partying – especially if you expect to be drinking or consuming drugs. 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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