Even good drivers make mistakes. Driver-assist safety features can help!

Welcome to a new era of vehicle safety

In-vehicle driver-assist safety features are rapidly becoming ‘must haves’ and many will eventually become standard in new vehicles. Driver-assist technology can detect potential collisions and help to avoid a crash. It can protect your family’s safety and save you the cost and inconvenience of an at-fault collision claim.

Remember – these safety features are no substitute for an alert driver. Learn more about proper use of driver-assist technology. Always pay attention and drive safe!

Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking

This feature can warn you of a potential collision ahead and may apply the brakes if you don’t react in time.

How it works

Sensors monitor the distance and relative speed between vehicles and supply an audible warning or visual alert to the driver if the system senses a potential collision. If the driver fails to brake or steer to avoid a collision, systems with automatic emergency braking will apply the brakes to mitigate the severity of the crash – or prevent it altogether.

Best thing about it

Studies show it can prevent up to 50 per cent of rear-end crashes, or at the very least may lessen the severity of collisions.

Tip

Works best at city speeds and in clear weather conditions. It is not designed to detect pedestrians. Always leave a safe following distance.

Blind-spot detection

This technology detects nearby vehicles not visible in your mirrors, and alerts you to remain in your lane.

How it works

These systems use sensors to monitor nearby lanes, and can determine when other vehicles approach or enter a vehicle’s blind spot. When this occurs, the system warns the driver with a visual alert, usually in or near the side-view mirror. Should the driver put on their signal to move into that occupied lane, some systems include a sound warning. The alert stops when the adjacent vehicle is no longer in the driver’s blind spot.

Best thing about it

Provides an extra set of eyes for those hard-to-see angles.

Tip

Continue to look behind you and use your mirrors. The one time you don’t check could cost a life. Warnings may not detect fast approaching traffic or motorcyclists.

Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist

Lane departure alerts you if you accidentally drift into another lane. Lane keeping automatically helps move you back into your lane.

How it works

These systems track a vehicle’s position in a lane. If the system detects the vehicle has, or will, inadvertently stray out of the lane, it will alert the driver. Most systems consider the movement unintentional if the driver has not used the turn signal. Lane-keeping assist systems help direct the vehicle back into the lane through light steering or braking.

Best thing about it

Addresses some of the most dangerous mistakes, such as drifting into oncoming traffic.

Tip

Effectiveness is affected by snow, ice and worn lane markings. Even with this features, driving requires your total attention.

Adaptive cruise control

This provides a new spin on ‘normal’ cruise control by automatically adjusting your speed in relation to the vehicle ahead, to maintain a safe following distance.

How it works

Like regular cruise control, this feature allows drivers to set a desired travel speed. The benefit of this feature is that sensors maintain a safe following distance to the vehicle ahead. If the lead vehicle is travelling at a lower speed, adaptive cruise control slows your vehicle to maintain a safe preset following distance. Should the lead vehicle speed up, adaptive cruise control will accelerate your vehicle, maintaining the same safe distance until you return to your initial set cruise speed.

Best thing about it

Reduces the risk of collision and even improves fuel consumption.

Tip

Like other cruise control settings, it is ideal for highways, but not for city streets or slippery conditions.

Backup camera and warning

A backup camera gives you an extra set of eyes in the back of your head, and helps you see behind your vehicle. It is standard on all new vehicles as of May, 2018. Newer versions can warn you to apply the brake, and some can sense objects approaching from the side.

How it works

These systems use a display screen to help a driver see what is directly behind their vehicle when backing up. Some systems include lines to help guide the driver.

Best thing about it

Provides greater safety around small children and pets, which can be difficult to see from a rear view mirror.

Tip

The camera may not be clear in certain lighting conditions. Warning sensors only detect a limited distance. Make it a habit to walk around the vehicle before you start, and intermittently check behind as you reverse.

Adaptive headlights

These headlights increase visibility around curves and over hills. They swivel to illuminate the path you are driving rather than aiming straight ahead on a curve or upward on a hill.

How it works

Adaptive headlights help drivers see better on dark curved roads and over hills. The active lights pivot in the direction of travel when a driver steers around curves or corners. The headlights adjust based on steering wheel movement and inclination of the road to illuminate the road ahead.

Best thing about it

Improves visibility in dark rural areas and helps you spot hazards such as wildlife.

Tip

Continue to drive to conditions and keep your headlights clean.

Electronic stability control

Electronic stability control helps you avoid losing control and spinning out. The technology counteracts understeering and oversteering by briefly braking the appropriate wheel to stabilize your vehicle.

How it works

Electronic stability control, or ESC, is an extension of anti-lock braking technology with speed sensors and independent braking for each wheel. When steering and rotation sensors detect that the vehicle isn’t pointed in the direction indicated by the steering wheel position, ESC automatically brakes the appropriate wheel to help the driver maintain control. In many cases, engine throttle also is reduced.

Best thing about it

Lowers the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes by 56 per cent, and fatal rollovers by 70 to 90 per cent.

Tip

Standard in all new vehicles since 2012, it is considered a ‘must have’ feature for novice drivers and is highly recommended when buying a previously-owned vehicle.

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

The anti-lock braking system, or ABS, is designed to help you maintain some steering ability and avoid skidding while braking.

How it works

ABS uses wheel speed sensors to determine if one or more wheels are locking up during braking. If a wheel locks up while you’re braking, a series of hydraulic valves limit or reduce the braking on that wheel. This prevents skidding and allows you to maintain steering control.

Best thing about it

It’s automatic! Simply apply steady pressure to the brake. There’s no need to take your foot off the brake and “pump”.

Tip

While ABS can significantly increase the control you have over your vehicle, it is your responsibility to drive at reasonable speeds for weather and traffic conditions.

Learn more about new vehicle technology

See additional video information on specific features. Note that these links take you outside the Manitoba Public Insurance website:

Additional information is available on several independent, authoritative sites. Note that these links take you outside the Manitoba Public Insurance website:

Transport Canada: advanced vehicle technology

Transport Canada sets safety standards for the design, construction and importation of the many types of motor vehicles that share our roads. This site provides detailed information on the many new vehicle safety features available in Canada.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from motor vehicle crashes. The IIHS site provides easy-to follow information on how crash-avoidance features work, outlines the features available by vehicle make, and lists top safety picks.

MyCarDoesWhat.org

MyCarDoesWhat.org is a U.S. campaign to educate drivers on new vehicle safety technologies. The site explains 40 individual safety features, and includes a series of fun and informative videos.

Consumer Reports – Cars with Advanced Safety Systems

Consumerreports.org provides a detailed list of cars with features that help drivers avoid or mitigate collisions.

Outside of Winnipeg, 1 in 10 Manitobans choose not to wear their seatbelts.

A recent study by MPI showed seatbelt use was lowest for occupants under the age of 25. Drivers in smaller rural communities had an especially high tendency to skip buckling in.

Since 2022, there have been 48 motor vehicle collision-related fatalities where the victim was not wearing a seatbelt.

More than one-third (35%) of those victims were between the ages of 15 and 19.

Join the click! Always wear your seatbelt.

Wear it right.

In a collision, being ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Your vehicle is built to protect you and your passengers in the event of a collision- but for the best protection, you need to buckle up!

For your seatbelt to be effective, it must be:

  • Flat and not twisted
  • Snug over the shoulder and across the hips
  • Never tucked under the arm

Seatbelts really do save lives. Every seat. Every time. Always buckle up.

Seatbelt safety makes cents.

In Manitoba, wearing your seatbelt is a law. We have one of the highest fines in the country ($300 and two demerits) against unbelted drivers.

A driver can also be ticketed $299.65 for each passenger under the age of 18 who is not properly buckled up, and that includes child car seats.

Air bags are added protection

Air bags protect your head and upper body from injury in a collision. However, they don’t protect you the same way your seatbelt will. Your seatbelt protects you in every kind of crash, at any speed.

Air bag safety tips:

  • Sit at least 25 cm away from the airbag
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Never place a rear-facing child car seat in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with air bags

Knowing which car seat to use at each stage of your child’s development can be confusing. The most important thing to remember is to not rush your child from one car-seat stage to the next. Children should remain in their current car-seat stage, whether it’s a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat, until they reach its weight or height limit. This information can be found in the car-seat manual or on the car seat itself.

There are four car-seat stages that protect your child as they grow – rear-facing infant car seats, forward-facing child car seats, booster seats and finally, seatbelts.

Rear-facing child car seats (for children up to 45 lbs)

Rear-facing seats are the safest place for your child to be because they distribute the impact of a collision along the back of the car seat, which protects your child’s fragile head and neck. We strongly recommend keeping your child rear-facing until they reach the weight and height limit of their rear-facing seat, as your child’s head and neck are still developing.

For information on installation, proper fit and important tips, see our Child Car Seats brochure.

Forward-facing child car seats (for children up to 65 lbs)

Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their rear-facing seat, they can move into a forward-facing seat. The harness straps in a forward-facing seat are designed so the impact is taken where your child’s body is strongest – the shoulders and chest, and then directed down to the hips.

For information on installation, proper fit and important tips, see our Child Car Seats brochure.

Booster seats (for children up to 80 lbs)

Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their forward-facing seat, they can move into a booster seat. Manitoba law requires children to remain in booster seats until they’re at least 4’ 9”, 80 lb, or nine years old. Without a booster seat, a seatbelt rides too high on a child’s stomach and neck and can cause serious injuries

For information on installation, proper fit and important tips, see our Child Car Seats brochure.

Seatbelts (for children 80+ lbs)

For your child’s safety, Manitoba law requires children to remain in booster seats until they’re at least 4’ 9”, 80 lb, or nine years old. It’s important not to rush to using a seatbelt alone because it’s not designed for a child – the shoulder strap rides too high and could cause serious injuries.

For information on seatbelts and proper fit for kids, see our Child Car Seats brochure.

Book a community presentation

To book a presentation on child car seats for your community group, school or business, visit our Road Safety Community Presentations page for more information. For newcomers to Manitoba and newcomer organizations, an adapted “Welcome to Manitoba” presentation with child car seat information included is available.

Using a child car seat correctly means you’re taking one of the best steps to protect your child in a crash.

Buying

  • Check the expiry date before you buy. Most seats are stamped with the expiry date on the back or bottom of the seat. If you can’t find the date, contact the car seat manufacturer or see Transport Canada’s dedicated page.
  • Buy your car seat in Canada to ensure it meets Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Car seats purchased online may not meet Canadian Safety Standards. Look for the National Safety mark!
  • Check if the car seat has been recalled on Transport Canada’s website at tc.gc.ca.
  • Follow the installation instructions the manufacturer provides with your car seat.
  • Child car seats and booster seats are exempt from provincial sales tax.

Installing

The Universal Anchorage System (UAS) is a standardized system that can make installing child seats easier. All Canadian infant and child car seats manufactured on or after Sept. 1, 2002 have two connectors that attach to the vehicle’s anchorage bars. (You can still use these child seats with the seatbelt if you have an older vehicle that does not have lower universal anchorage bars.)

Some vehicles also have the centre seat fitted with UAS anchor bars. In a van that has more than two rows of seats there will be two locations for the UAS, one of which will be in the second row of seats.

Look for this symbol on the infant and child seats as well as on the vehicle seats. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to find out where your UAS anchors are located.

When the UAS is used, a seatbelt is not required. A top tether strap must be used on all forward facing child seats, regardless of whether it is secured by a UAS or a seatbelt.

Stages

Car seats are designed to meet the safety needs of where your child is in their development. If you’re unsure if your child needs a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat, visit our ‘child car seat stages’ page.

Replacing

Replace any car seat that was involved in a moderate or serious collision. The impact can cause damage to the seat, whether it was occupied or not. The seat may not provide adequate protection in a future collision.

If your car or booster seat has been involved in a collision, follow these steps.

Customers can safely dispose of an expired car or booster seat that hasn’t been involved in a collision at the following locations:

  • In Winnipeg, visit the Physical Damage Centre, located at 1981 Plessis Road, Building C, Security.
  • Outside Winnipeg, visit your nearest MPI Service Centre.

For more information please contact Community Relations:

In Winnipeg: 204-985-8737
Outside Winnipeg: 1-888-767-7640

Book a community presentation

To book a presentation on child car seats for your community group, school or business, visit our Road Safety Community Presentations page for more information. For newcomers to Manitoba and newcomer organizations, an adapted “Welcome to Manitoba” presentation with child car seat information included is available.

The Winter Tire Program (WTP) provides low-interest financing to eligible Manitobans at prime plus two per cent*, on up to $2,000 per vehicle. This financing can be used for the purchase of qualifying winter tires and associated costs from participating retailers. You have the choice to select a financing term between one and four years and a monthly payment withdrawal day.

Program qualifications

To be eligible for the Winter Tire Program, you must:

  • be an individual (not corporate) Manitoba Public Insurance customer
  • purchase qualifying winter tires for a passenger vehicle or light truck (gross vehicle weight under 4541 kg) registered under your name
  • have no financing restrictions or outstanding payments on your Manitoba Public Insurance account

Looking for a quick way to see if you qualify? Check here.

Additional products and services that can be financed

Customers financing approved winter tires may also receive financing on associated costs. This includes:

  • rims
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • addition of studs to tires (some limitations apply)
  • mounting and balancing
  • storage costs (if paid during initial purchase)
  • switchover costs (if paid during initial purchase)
  • wheel alignment
  • nitrogen fill
  • valve stems
  • shop supplies
  • applicable taxes and fees

Eligible products and services can be provided by multiple retailers.

The following are not approved for financing:

  • repair of tires
  • maintenance/storage, unless included as part of the initial cost
  • switchover cost, unless included as part of the initial cost

Approved winter tires

All tires displaying this symbol, as endorsed by Transport Canada, are approved for the Winter Tire Program.

Purchasing your winter tires

After determining if you qualify, visit a participating retailer and select your tires. Your retailer will confirm if you qualify, ask you to fill out a few forms and will complete the loan authorization.

Be sure to bring:

  • your vehicle registration certificate
  • your driver’s licence or identification card

Processing and payments

You can pay for your tires by making monthly, preauthorized payments to Manitoba Public Insurance through your bank account. Your first payment will be withdrawn one month from the date the loan is processed. The following preauthorized payments are withdrawn each month on the withdrawal day you selected.

The loan process can be completed at your chosen retailer. However, if your payments are being made by someone other than yourself, the account holder must first visit an Autopac agent to sign the Preauthorized Payment Agreement.

Estimated payments (at 5.95% interest)

$ Financed

One Year

Two Year

Three Year

Four Year

$500

43.16

22.22

15.25

11.77

$750

64.46

33.24

22.81

17.61

$1,000

85.83

44.27

30.38

23.45

$1,250

107.20

55.29

37.93

29.28

$1,500

128.77

66.31

45.47

35.12

$1,750

149.94

77.33

53.03

40.96

$2,000

171.32

88.34

60.58

46.80

If your purchase exceeds the $2,000 maximum, you will be required to pay the excess amount.

If you hold a student, work or visitor Visa permit

You will not qualify for financing authorized through a retailer. However, if you purchase your tires and bring your receipts for authorization and reimbursement through an Autopac agent, setting up a financing plan through the program may be possible. Please contact your Autopac agent for details.

Winter tires purchased from a retailer not participating in the program

You may still be eligible for financing, as there are no restrictions on where the tires can be purchased. Confirm if you qualify for financing and reimbursement and then bring a copy of your receipt(s) to an Autopac agent. Approved tires will carry the peaked mountain and snowflake symbol, as endorsed by Transport Canada.

Tires purchased in the U.S.

If tires were purchased in the United States, and the invoice is in US dollars, the invoice amount will be converted to Canadian dollars using the current exchange rate.

Using receipts for re-imbursement and financing from the Winter Tire Program

Tires must have been purchased on or after March 6, 2014.

Questions?

Please call or visit an Autopac agent or Service Centre.

Retailer inquiries

If you’re a tire retailer interested in participating in the Winter Tire Program, email [email protected].

If you’re a participating tire retailer already registered in the Winter Tire Program, click here.

*Interest rates are determined by the Bank of Canada and are subject to change without notice.

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