Top 5 Road Safety Resolutions for 2018 important first step in changing traffic safety culture: Manitoba Public Insurance

How many road crash deaths are okay? Manitoba Public Insurance is encouraging all motorists to conclude that losing even one Manitoban from motor vehicle collisions is one too many – and is encouraging motorists to resolve to make 2018 the safest-ever year on Manitoba roadways. On that note, Manitoba’s public auto insurer has released its Top 5 road safety resolutions for motorists to consider:

1) Drive sober

The use of either alcohol or drugs while driving is a dangerous mix. Many drivers believe cannabis has no effect on their driving ability. MPI’s public awareness and education efforts over the next year will give Manitobans the information they need to make safe decisions when it comes to driving after consuming cannabis, and to understand how, similar to alcohol, cannabis and other drugs can impair driving ability.

On average, every year 25 people are killed in an impaired-driving related collisions and a recent medical study published by the British Medical Journal shows that crash rates for drivers under the influence of cannabis are two to six times higher than for drivers who are not impaired.

Don’t become a statistic!

2) Stick to driving: distracted driving can be fatal

Each year in Manitoba about 28 people are killed as a result of distracted driving. A recent survey of Manitoba drivers revealed that 15 per cent of respondents admitted to using a handheld cellphone while driving, with usage nearly doubling among drivers age 25 to 39.

However, distracted driving is not exclusive to the use of smart phones while driving. Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the road. Distractions take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and your mind off the job of driving.

Stay focused on the task of driving!

3) Buckle up. Every time.

On average, 20 people each year are killed in Manitoba because they were not wearing a seatbelt. Consider the odds: A person is nearly 35 times more likely to be killed and five times more likely to be seriously injured when not wearing a seatbelt. In rural Manitoba, highway speeds increase crash severity, which makes wearing seatbelts even more important, regardless of where you are seated in the vehicle.

Whether a short trip or a long one – seat belts save lives!

4) Watch your speed

Speeding claims about 21 lives yearly in Manitoba, in addition to 600 people injured in speed-related crashes. Weather conditions in Manitoba can also make driving treacherous.

At this time of year, all drivers should be in full ‘winter driving mode’. Be particularly cautious when traveling on overpasses and bridges. The surfaces on these structures can freeze quickly due to a lack of ground insulation. 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.

Drive to road conditions ─ speed limits are intended for ‘ideal’ driving conditions!

5) Watch out for vulnerable road users: motorcycles, pedestrians and cyclists

Over the first 11 months of 2017, seven motorcyclists and 11 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle-related collisions on public roadways. As our most vulnerable road users, drivers are encouraged to look twice, and give the time and space needed to keep pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists safe. For cyclists, this means giving at least one metre of space when passing.

Our roadways belong to all road users!

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