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This article was published 27/6/2013 (1262 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The woman killed in a head-on crash Wednesday on Inkster Boulevard was 97 years old. But Manitoba Public Insurance says older drivers are, statistically, the safest drivers on the road.
Drivers 65 and older account for the lowest proportion of motorists involved in collisions, MPI says.
"Seniors are the least involved in collisions," said MPI spokesman Brian Smiley. "They don't drive as many kilometres, they drive shorter distances, and they drive during the daylight."
In 2011, 16 per cent of all fatal collisions in Manitoba involved drivers over the age of 65, while 24 per cent of all fatal collisions involved a driver between the ages of 16 and 24.
'Seniors are the least involved in collisions. They don't drive as many kilometres, they drive shorter distances and they drive during the daylight' -- MPI spokesman Brian Smiley
The RCMP said a car heading west on Inkster was being driven erratically Wednesday and collided with an eastbound pickup truck stopped at the traffic light at Roy Roche Drive.
The force of the collision sent the pickup into another pickup truck stopped behind it.
The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene.
Occupants of the pickup trucks suffered minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment.
MPI does not require mandatory testing for drivers within any specific age group unless they have been previously suspended.
Last year, 5,000 medical suspensions were handed out to drivers, half of whom were over the age of 60.
Doctors in Manitoba are required to report any health concerns affecting a person's driving ability. MPI then reviews the driver's medical conditions.
"Sometimes people need to be put on medication, or they need to get glasses, or drive in daylight only," said Smiley. "One of the last resorts is to take away a driver's licence. But we work very closely with senior communities."
MPI is affiliated with Safety Services Manitoba's Mature Driver Workshop, a free workshop for senior drivers to refresh their driving skills.
Safety Services sets up workshops in Winnipeg and rural areas throughout Manitoba so drivers can learn about new road laws and defensive driving.
So far this year, 877 seniors have taken the course. Nearly 1,900 registered for the program in 2012.
"It all depends on the individual and their ability to drive -- it's not a factor of age," said Judy Murphy, president and CEO of Safety Services Manitoba.
"If we are (more) aware of ourselves and other people on the road, the safer we'll be."
As a result of their program, senior drivers keep their keys in the ignition and their wheels on the pavement longer.
"It's important that drivers on the roadway have a proper driver's licence and that they follow the rules of the road," said RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish. "As long as a person has a driver's licence, we're under the presumption the driver is allowed to be on the road."