Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Holiday risky for drivers

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Wherever you are going, whatever you are doing, no matter how excited you are about your destination this long August weekend, buckle your seatbelt and take your time to be safe on roads and highways. Take special care as you depart.

A Manitoba Public Insurance statement notes nearly 40 per cent of all holiday long-weekend road deaths and injuries occur Friday.

Top Five Road Safety Tips:

1. Alcohol and driving is a deadly mix. One in three fatal accidents in this province is alcohol related.

2. Buckle up. Your chances of being injured or killed in a collision are reduced by more than 50 per cent when you use your seatbelt.

3. Reduce speed while in a construction zone. Watch for signs as the speed limit will be lower in a construction zone. Follow directions. The flag person helps control the flow of traffic. Follow their directions, including slowing down or stopping.

4. Don't text and drive. It's against the law. One in four fatal crashes in Manitoba are related to distracted driving.

5. Don't speed. Speeding at-fault drivers are responsible for an average of 22 fatal and 430 injury crashes each year.

(source: Manitoba Public Insurance)

The MPI statement said its claims data collected between 2008 to 2012 show an average of one person is killed and more than 30 others are injured the Friday leading into a three-day holiday weekend.

Sunday and Monday have the smallest proportion of victims per day.

"The statistics confirm many motorists are taking risks on Friday. Road safety should be a priority this civic holiday long weekend. There will be higher than normal traffic volume on the roadways. Safety must be a priority," MaryAnn Kempe, MPI's vice-president of business development, communications and chief product officer, said in a press release.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2014 B2

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