Motorists urged to drive to winter weather conditions on rural roadways: Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance and its road safety partners are putting out a call for safety to all Manitoba motorists. Manitoba’s public auto insurer is reminding Manitobans that winter weather conditions – extreme cold, heavy snow, slush, and freezing rain – can change road conditions dramatically over a very short period of time.

“Since December 1, 87 per cent of all fatalities have taken place on rural roads, up from an average of 70 per cent in most years,” said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president, Community and Corporate Relations, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“A total of 13 people have been killed in road crashes on rural highways during December and January. In the majority of these fatal road crashes, winter weather conditions have played a major role.

“Drivers need to adjust just as quickly to stay safe,” said Kempe. “Driving to road conditions could be a life-saving decision. More than ever, we’re asking motorists to exercise road safety. When there’s ice and snow, slow down. It could save a life.”

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities encourages motorists to exercise patience during poor weather conditions.

“Municipal crews do their best to clear the snow and ice from the roads, but they must do so when it is safe,” said Joe Masi, Executive Director of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.

“In poor winter weather, snow plows must sometimes wait until conditions improve to do their jobs. Motorists should wait, too.”

Recently, Manitoba’s public auto insurer launched an advertising campaign which specifically deals with driving when road conditions change dramatically due to weather conditions. The ‘Take it Slow’ campaign encourages drivers to slow down when there’s ice and now on the roadways.

Intersection Safety

Approximately 40 per cent of collisions in Manitoba occur at intersections. At highway intersections, the high speeds can increase the risk of serious injury or death. Police agencies throughout the province will be placing additional focus on intersection safety during the month of February. Most highway intersections consist of a major highway that intersects with smaller roadways.

When a vehicle is approaching a major highway, they must stop and give the highway traffic the right-of-way, even if there is no stop sign. Motorists should treat these highway intersections like an uncontrolled intersection in the city, such as coming out from a back lane or parking lot.

“Drivers must continue to be aware of their surroundings, drive to the conditions and make wise decisions,” said Insp. Joanne Keeping of the RCMP Traffic Services. “Many collisions are still due to motorists driving through stop signs and they often result in a death. These fatalities are preventable if safety at intersections is exercised.”

Safety Tips during bad weather conditions:

  • Check the weather forecast and driving conditions before travelling and delay or cancel travel if it is not recommended.
  • Consider turning back or finding a safe place to stop if conditions get worse while driving.
  • While driving, reduce your speed.
  • Utilize your emergency lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Avoid sudden braking while on the roadway. A following vehicle could collide with you.
  • Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Open a Claim