August 1, 2014 12:36 pm

Roads most dangerous on Fridays before long weekend, MPI says

Almost 40 per cent of holiday long weekend crashes that cause injury or death occur on the Friday, Manitoba Public Insurance says.

Peter Chura / Global News

WINNIPEG – Manitobans heading out for the long weekend may want to exercise extra caution on the road.

Almost 40 per cent of holiday long weekend road deaths happen on Fridays, Manitoba Public Insurance statistics show.

On average, one person is killed and 30 are injured in crashes on the Friday leading into a three-day weekend, according to MPI claims data collected from 2008 to 2012.

Sunday and Monday have the lowest long-weekend death and injury numbers.

“The statistics confirm many motorists are taking risks on Friday,” MPI’s MaryAnn Kemp said in a news release Friday. “Safety must be a priority.”

MPI also released the following statistics:

  • One in three fatal accidents in Manitoba is alcohol related.
  • Seatbelt use reduces injuries and deaths in collisions by more than 50 per cent.
  • One in four fatal crashes in Manitoba is related to distracted driving.

Speeding drivers are responsible for an average of 22 to fatal and 430 injury collisions every year.

RCMP also issued a release about road dangers ahead of the long weekend, warning against distracted driving.

Manitoba RCMP compared distracted driving to drunk driving and made the following suggestions:

  • Plan your route ahead of time, including programming the GPS before starting the car.
  • Allow sufficient time to reach your destination.
  • Put your cellphone out of sight.
  • Avoid eating or drinking while driving.
  • Take care of personal grooming before getting in the car.
  • Avoid playing music so loudly you can’t hear noise outside the vehicle.
  • Make sure kids, pets and other passengers don’t become a distraction. Make sure passengers are safely buckled in before you start driving and pull over to deal with any concerns that arise.
  • Avoid driving while tired.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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