Posted on 07/29/2016, 1:00 pm, by mySteinbach

With 2016 already recording higher than normal road fatality counts, Manitoba Public Insurance is putting out a call for road-safety action by all Manitoba motorists, heading into the August long weekend. Disturbingly, 35 percent of all holiday long weekend road deaths and injuries occur on the Friday, according to claims data collected by Manitoba’s public auto insurer.

On average, one person is killed and more than 80 others are injured over a long holiday weekend Рwith Friday being the worst day.  Conversely, Saturday and Monday have the smallest proportion of victims per day, according to claims data collected between 2011-2015.

“There is never a safe time to drive distracted, fatigued or impaired,” said Ward Keith, Business Development, Communications & Chief Product Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“If you do, you are not only risking your own life, but endangering the lives of other road users. The statistics confirm that road safety needs to be a priority for all motorists as we head into this August long holiday weekend when traffic on provincial highways is typically more active.”

Higher than normal counts in 2016

Half way through this year, a total of 44 people have been killed on public roadways in Manitoba – 22 percent higher than the average of 36 people killed in each of the last five years over the same period of time.

“It’s important to remember that 44 fatalities is much more than a number. These are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and best friends. These are lives that have been tragically lost and must serve as a reminder to all Manitobans that safety on our streets and highways must stay top of mind as we head to our destinations this coming weekend,” said Keith.

Top Five Road Safety Tips:

  1. Don’t text and drive. It’s against the law and now attracts five demerits on the Driver Safety Rating scale. One in four fatal crashes in Manitoba are related to distracted driving.
  2. Alcohol and driving is a deadly mix. One in four fatal accidents in this province is alcohol related.
  3. Buckle up. People not using their seatbelts are 30 times more likely to be killed and five times more likely to be seriously injured in a collision than people using their  seatbelt.
  4. Don’t speed. Speeding at-fault drivers are responsible for an average of 22 fatal and 400 injury crashes each year.
  5. Slow down in construction zones. Watch for signs as the speed limit will be lower in a construction zone. Follow directions. The flag person helps control the flow of traffic. Follow their directions, including slowing down or stopping.