News Manitoba

MPI: second deadliest February in two decades

By Portage Daily Graphic, Portage Daily Graphic

Postmedia File Photo

Postmedia File Photo

After declaring 2017 one of the safest years for road fatalities in 35 years, Manitoba Public Insurance reported a total of nine fatalities last month, making February 2018 the second worst February for road deaths in two decades.

“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,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, business development and communications, CAO, MPI. “Winter driving can be a challenge for the best of drivers but when combined with high-risk driving behaviours the outcomes can be tragic.”

When added to the four deaths recorded in January, the total number of road fatalities in the first two months of 2018 is nearly three times higher than in the same period last year and twice as high as the preceding five year average.

Although the full analysis of February's fatal crashes is still in progress, preliminary data shows almost half of these crashes involved impaired driving and nearly two in three involved not wearing seatbelts. In two thirds of the crashes, speed is also suspected as a contributing factor, including driving too fast for road and weather conditions.

“As we focus on making 2018 a safer year for collisions on Manitoba roadways, it is essential that all drivers take personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of other road users,” adds Keith.

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