Two months into the year and a deadly trend is emerging on the roads.
Nine people were killed in crashes across Manitoba last month. Manitoba Public Insurance said that makes it the deadliest February in two decades.
Three people also died on Manitoba roads in January, making the combined number of deaths in the first two months of 2018 three times higher than the same period last year and double the five year average for the time span.
“The number of fatalities on Manitoba roadways last month should be a wake-up call to all drivers, particularly with several weeks of winter weather and road conditions still ahead of us,” Ward Keith, Manitoba Public Insurance’s CAO said in a news release.
As for the February collisions, MPI said roughly half involved impaired driving. People going too fast and not wearing seat belts each were factors in two thirds of the crashes.
The public insurer shared a few safety tips for drivers:
- Have a plan before you head out for an evening of partying – especially if you expect to be drinking or consuming drugs. Hire a cab, or vehicle for hire, or have a designated driver selected beforehand.
- If you must text or answer the phone, pull your vehicle over to a safe area. Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road and significantly increases the chance of being involved in a collision.
- Never get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or consuming drugs. It could be the last thing you do.
- Speed kills. Be aware of the posted speed limit and drive to road and weather conditions.
- Buckle up – every time. Whether you’re a driver or passenger, and no matter how short your trip is. It takes one second and could very well save your life.
- With another winter storm predicted to hit Manitoba this coming weekend, all motorists are encouraged to drive defensively, leave plenty of room between vehicles, keep windshields clear and drive to conditions. Road closures due to weather should also be observed as they are intended to keep road users safe.
- Source: Manitoba Public Insurance