Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tragic accident a statistical anomaly

Elderly driver's fatal collision shocking, rare

  • Print
A 97-year-old woman apparently lost control of her car while having a heart attack and collided with a pickup truck stopped at a traffic light on Inkster.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

A 97-year-old woman apparently lost control of her car while having a heart attack and collided with a pickup truck stopped at a traffic light on Inkster. Photo Store

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.

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.

'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 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."

elizabeth.fraser@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2013 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Huge vigil held in support of Tina Fontaine, Faron Hall

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google