Canadian Underwriter

Manitoba experiences 7.8% increase in collision claims in 2012

May 10, 2013  

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Manitoba experienced a 7.8% increase in collision claims last year.

In light of this increase, Canada Road Safety Week should be the catalyst for drivers to self-evaluate their driving behavior, said Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), in a press release.

During Canada Road Safety Week, May 13-20, there will be additional law enforcement on Manitoba roadways.

Read: Distracted driving can be deadly

“There were 161,466 collision claims reported last year compared to 149,764 in 2011,” said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president community and corporate relations, MPI. “Many of these collisions were directly related to drinking and driving, speeding, aggressive driving and distracted driving – all behaviours which can be easily changed.”

Kempe notes that roughly 100 people are killed on Manitoba roadways annually. One in four road fatalities in the province are attributed to distracted driving, resulting in about 25 deaths each year, according to MPI data. In an effort to raise awareness about this dangerous driver behavior, MPI recently launched a multi-media campaign: Your Last Words.

“This increase in collision claims has both a human and economic cost,” said Kempe. “It’s estimated that collision costs will be more than $330 million in 2012/13, an 11.5% increase from 2011-12. High-risk driving affects people’s lives and auto insurance premiums.”

Read: Men more likely to drive while tired: survey

Kempe explained that driver behavior can be changed by awareness, education and law enforcement. Manitoba law enforcement agencies, including the Winnipeg Police Service, RCMP and Brandon Police Service, will all be conducting beefed-up traffic enforcements throughout the province during Road Safety Week.

“Manitoba Public Insurance regularly teams up with law enforcement agencies to raise awareness about safe driving,” said Kempe. “With the first long weekend of the summer around the corner, this is the perfect time to remind Manitobans that there are consequences associated with dangerous driving.”

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.