By Tyler Sutherland
Saturday has the highest number of pedestrian-vehicle deaths in the province, according to data released by Manitoba Public Insurance.
The public insurer says 25% of pedestrian accidents occur on that day, while nearly 15% of those deaths occur while a pedestrian is crossing an intersection.
“On average, about 16 pedestrians are killed each year in our province,” said MaryAnn Kempe of MPI. “Many of these deaths could have been prevented. With the goal to reduce collisions, Manitoba Public Insurance is putting out a call of action to both pedestrians and motorists to exercise care and caution.”
MPI says about 370 pedestrians are injured yearly in the province after being struck by a vehicle. Thursday and Friday have the largest proportions of pedestrians injured. Tuesday has the smallest proportion of pedestrian deaths at nine percent.
MPI is offering the follow safety tips for pedestrians:
- Cross intersections defensively. Always watch for turning vehicles. You have the legal right to be there, but that doesn’t protect you from the carelessness of some motorists.
- When crossing the street, regardless of the availability of signals, cross as quickly as possible. Minimize your time in the roadway.
- No matter what age you are, it is important to stop at the curb and look left-right and left again before stepping out into the street even when the light is green and the signal says “walk.”
- Before stepping off the curb, make sure that all vehicles in the roadway have stopped for you and that all drivers can see you. Just because one car has stopped does not mean that a car coming from behind or in an adjacent lane will stop.
- Do everything possible to increase your chances of seeing and being seen by drivers at night. Use the best lit streets available, use a light or wear or carry reflective or bright coloured clothing. Fabric retro-reflective tape worn around the arm can make a pedestrian visible to a driver at 200 metres instead of 45 metres.
- Hold small children by the hand when crossing.