WINNIPEG, MB - Almost 40% of drivers and passengers killed this year on Manitoba roads were not wearing a seatbelt, according to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI).
February 2018 was the second worst February in Manitoba for road deaths in two decades with nine deaths and a further five deaths as a result of crashes on Manitoba roads in March. This brings the number of Manitobans killed in motor vehicle crashes for the first three months of 2018 to 18, about 80 per cent higher than average over the last five years during the same time frame.
MPI says that further analysis reveals that of the 13 drivers and passengers killed in fatal crashes so far this year, nearly 40 per cent were not using a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
“While the vast majority of Manitobans wear their seatbelts all the time, these results serve as a strong reminder that failing to buckle up can have tragic consequences,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development and Communications, MPI.
“A properly fastened seatbelt works in conjunction with a vehicle’s airbag system to keep occupants safe, particularly when crashes involve loss of vehicle control or vehicle rollovers.”
Some seatbelt facts from Manitoba Public Insurance:
- People who don’t use vehicle safety equipment properly are 35 to 40 times more likely to be killed when involved in a crash.
- When buckling up, make sure the seatbelt’s shoulder strap crosses over the shoulder and the lap belt is positioned across the hips. For seatbelts to work properly they should lay flat against the body.
- Become a road safety advocate. As a driver, take responsibility for ensuring all of your passengers are wearing their seatbelts, regardless where they are sitting in the vehicle. This includes ensuring children are properly secured in child cars seats or booster seats.
- Don’t assume short trips are less dangerous. Most collisions occur within short distances from home. Wear your seatbelt all the time – no exceptions.
- Avoid a costly penalty. If caught not wearing a seatbelt in Manitoba, you will be fined $298 and the infraction will move you down two levels on your Driver Safety Rating scale.