Drivers urged to think road safety over Terry Fox Day holiday weekend: Manitoba Public Insurance

As the August holiday weekend approaches, Manitoba Public Insurance encourages all drivers to use extra caution on Manitoba roadways to ensure a safe long weekend.

Over the last five years (2013-17), an average of two Manitobans have been killed and another 86 people injured in motor vehicle collisions over the August long weekend, according to Manitoba Public Insurance data.

“Too often, these were fatalities and serious injuries that didn’t need to happen,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications, Chief Administrative Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and every road user needs to do their part to keep themselves and each other safe. This is particularly important over long weekends when highway traffic volumes are higher and people are in a hurry to get to their holiday weekend destinations.”

Too many fatalities related to high-risk driving behaviour

In the first seven months of this year, 47 Manitobans have been killed in motor vehicle collisions on public roadways. Preliminary data reports that about 40 per cent of fatal crashes were related to impaired driving, while one in three fatalities involved non-use of seatbelts. Speed, including driving too fast for conditions, played a role in about one in four fatalities so far this year.

“Even one fatality is one too many, but when Manitobans lose their lives or sustain serious injuries due to distracted or impaired driving, speed, or not buckling up, these losses are particularly tragic because they don’t need to happen,” said Keith.

“By making safe decisions and driving with extra care and attention, we can all enjoy the August long weekend without a single death or serious injury on our roads.”

Top five road safety tips for a safe holiday weekend

  • Don’t text and drive. It’s against the law and is enforced with a fine and five demerits on the Driver Safety Rating scale if convicted. Forty per cent of fatal crashes were related to distracted driving in 2017.
  • Don’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Driving drunk or high slows reaction time and continues to be a major contributor to fatal collisions in Manitoba. It’s also a criminal offence that can result in severe penalties, including jail time.
  • Don’t speed. Speeding at-fault drivers are responsible for the deaths of 18 people each year and injury to 800 others.
  • Buckle up. It takes one second to buckle up and doing so could save your life. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure passengers are buckled up too, regardless how long or short your trip is.
  • Slow down in construction zones. Watch for signs as the speed limit will be lower in a construction zone. Follow directions. The flag person helps control the flow of traffic. Follow their directions, including slowing down or stopping.
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