Driving to road conditions could prevent a collision: Manitoba Public Insurance

With spring still five weeks away, and with a 12 per cent increase in claims reported last month, Manitoba Public Insurance is encouraging all motorists to stay in a winter-driving mode by always driving to road and weather conditions.

“Despite the warmer weather, we still have several weeks of winter driving ahead of us,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Loss Prevention and Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“With changes in the weather come changes to driving conditions and at this time of year, road conditions can quickly change from ice or heavy snow to slush and freezing rain. It’s at this time of year in particular that motorists need to make adjustments to avoid collisions. This includes keeping safe distances between vehicles, keeping windshields clear, watching for pedestrians and cyclists, and driving to conditions.”

Based on Manitoba Public Insurance data, a total of 11,310 collision claims were reported to the public auto insurer in January; a 12 per cent increase over the number of claims reported in the same month last year.

“The increase in collisions last month drives home the message that driving is an activity that requires full attention and total awareness,” said Keith. “Small changes in driving behaviour, particularly at this time of year, can make a big difference in preventing collisions. We can all play a role in keeping our roads and each other safe.”

Safety Tips

  • Before you head out on the highway, check for road and weather conditions by calling 511.
  • Be cautious in traveling on overpasses and bridges. The surfaces on these structures can freeze quickly due to no ground insulation.
  • Don’t rush. Give yourself five or 10 extra minutes to get to your destination safely.
  • See where you’re going. At this time of year, keeping windshields clear is essential so make sure windshield washer fluid is topped up and windows are clear of snow and ice.
  • Allow more time to stop. Traction is reduced when roads are slippery it takes more time to come to a complete stop. If you don’t have winter tires, it’s not too late to get them.
  • Leave more space. Don’t tailgate at any time and remember that following distance should be increased when travelling at higher speeds or in poor visibility.
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