October fatality and collision counts concerning: Manitoba Public Insurance

October was a disturbing month on Manitoba roadways: 12,000 collision claims were reported while 12 people were killed in auto-related collisions on public roadways.

Collision counts were eight per cent higher than in October of last year. The number of fatalities was also ahead of the October five-year average (2012-16) of eight deaths.

“The trends are concerning,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and CAO, Manitoba Public Insurance. “At this time of year, it is very important to adjust driving behaviours as road and weather conditions fluctuate.

“With wet and icy roads, snow, and the onset of colder weather requires, all drivers should be slowing down, driving to road and weather conditions, and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles,” said Keith. “Extra caution is also required to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.”

In addition to shifting their driving behaviours, vehicle owners are encouraged to look into the Winter Tire Program, which provides low-interest loans to eligible customers to assist with purchasing winter tires. The program offers financing at prime plus two per cent, for up to $2,000 towards the purchase of qualifying winter tires. Financing may also be used towards associated costs such as rims, mounting, balancing, taxes and fees.

Winter safe driving tips

  • Be cautious in travelling on overpasses and bridges. The surfaces on these structures can freeze quickly due to a lack of 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. 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, so 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 distances should be increased when travelling at higher speeds or in poor visibility.
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