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Rise in Fatal Highway Crashes Prompts MPI Warning

February 25, 2014 2:58 PM | News

Jeep Winter Accident

A Jeep Liberty sits in the ditch off Cloutier Drive after losing control. (CHRISD.CA FILE)

An increase in fatal accidents on rural highways this winter has prompted Manitoba Public Insurance to remind motorists that road conditions can quickly change based on the weather.

“Since December 1, 87 percent of all fatalities have taken place on rural roads, up from an average of 70 percent in most years,” said MaryAnn Kempe, MPI’s vice-president of community and corporate relations.

Extreme cold, heavy snow, slush, and freezing rain can change conditions in a short period of time, sometimes catching drivers off guard.

During December and January, 13 people were killed in crashes where winter weather conditions played a role.

“Drivers need to adjust just as quickly to stay safe,” Kempe added. “Driving to road conditions could be a life-saving decision. More than ever, we’re asking motorists to exercise road safety. When there’s ice and snow, slow down. It could save a life.”

MPI and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities encourages motorists to exercise patience during poor weather conditions.