Traffic deaths rising in Manitoba

Published: November 14, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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A worrying trend in Manitoba is causing a stir within the public insurance sector, with data for the last three months showing that fatalities from traffic accidents rose 42% year on year compared to the average over the last five years. Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) announced the startling figures this week.

Even since the first day of September, 34 people have been killed in vehicle collisions, which is significantly higher than the average of 24 deaths over the last five years. Those fatalities also represent 50% of all traffic related deaths in Manitoba this year, a large hike compared to the first six months of 2015. 71 people have died in road accidents in the province so far this year, and already fatalities on public roads in Manitoba are above those over the entirety of 2014.

“Sadly, many of these fatalities have involved not using seatbelts, head-on collisions and driver inattention,” Ward Keith, MPI’s vice-president of business development and communications, and chief product officer, says in a statement.

“Speed, impaired driving, distracted driving and failure to wear seatbelts are all high-risk driving behaviors that can result in tragic outcomes,” Keith says. “Driving safely and defensively can truly be the difference between life and death,” he emphasizes.

The MPI expects fatalities to continue to rise with the cold winter months now descending on Manitoba will likely play a part through the end of the year. The province is warning drivers to maintain safe practices and to avoid distractions and install winter tires.

A study by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States showed that fatalities across the nation from road accidents have increased so far this year. It seems there is a trend developing across North America, with road deaths in Ontario also set to rise throughout this year. AllState recently announced its annual accident data and showed that collision frequency throughout Canada stands at 5.57% over the last 12 months, up from 5.19% in the last study.

“Our data is showing a trend toward rising collisions over the past two years,” the company said. “While the study can only look at our data, we believe it’s important to share the trends we are seeing, in an effort to shine a light on road safety and encourage Canadians to think about what it means to be a safe driver.”