Tens of thousands of teenagers impacted by Manitoba Public Insurance’s popular Friends for Life speaker series

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Thousands of Manitoba high school students will listen to impactful, first-person stories of how making a bad decision can lead to death or life-changing injuries as the result of an automobile collision. Manitoba Public Insurance’s highly popular Friends for Life speaker series opened this week with four keynote speakers visiting more than 40 schools during November.

“Friends for Life stresses how making a poor decision, or exhibiting high-risk driving behaviours, can have a lifetime consequence,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for Corporation Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“The keynote speakers were specifically chosen for their impactful messages they will be delivering to teens; many of whom are already driving. Making good decisions before a person puts the key in the ignition is the overriding message with Friends for Life.”

High-risk driving behaviours can consist of the following: driving after consuming drugs or alcohol, speeding, distracted driving or failing to use the seatbelts in the passenger compartment.

As drivers move beyond the Driver Education stage, statistics show that drivers aged 16-24 are consistently overrepresented in collisions in general, and in impaired driving collisions in particular. By delivering understandable, powerful, preventative messages to teen drivers, the goal is to reduce collisions and fatalities.

Presented in conjunction with the Manitoba School Boards Association and Teens Against Destructive Decisions, Friends for Life has reached more than 100,000 students over the past five years.

MPI statistics report that youth aged 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely to have been involved in a collision while impaired compared to drivers aged 25 and older. Meanwhile, an average of 30 Manitobans are killed yearly on roadways due to distracted driving.