MPI asks Manitobans to keep road safety in mind this long weekend

In efforts to curb distracted driving, SGI and police in Saskatchewan will focus on drivers using their cellphones or other distractions while driving throughout August. File Photo / Global News

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is once again urging drivers to avoid high-risk behaviours, such as distracted driving, as they hit the roads this long weekend.

MPI issued a statement explaining that an average of approximately 800 collisions had been reported on public roadways over the Labour Day holiday.

“This upcoming weekend is the unofficial end to summer, with an increase in traffic on the roads with people traditionally closing their cottages and recreational sites,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer.

“Heavy traffic on our roadways, combined with distracted driving is a dangerous mix.”

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The statement says distracted driving is a leading contributor to fatal crashes and was the direct cause of nearly 50 per cent of all fatalities and 37 per cent of all serious injuries in 2020.

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On average, the September long weekend results in two deaths and 90 people injured.

Last year, there were a total of 44,339 reportable traffic collisions on public roadways in Manitoba – 70 of these were fatal collisions, while there were 5,667 injury collisions.

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To avoid any tragic circumstances this weekend, MPI has some tips for you.

  • Be sure you are not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – doing this will slow down your reaction time significantly. If you are under the influence consider a brisk walk, rideshare, taxi or designated driver.
  • Be sure you are keeping a keen eye on your speedometer and paying attention to speed limits – speeding has been linked to the deaths of 20 people each year and caused about 900 others injuries.
  • Make sure you are buckling up – a person is more than 50 times more likely to be killed and almost four times more likely to be seriously injured when not wearing a seatbelt.
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