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Long Weekend a Dangerous One for Distracted Drivers: MPI

September 2, 2021 11:10 AM | News


Distracted Driving

A woman uses an iPad while behind the wheel of a vehicle stopped in traffic at a red light in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, October 20, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

WINNIPEG — With the long weekend approaching, Manitoba Public Insurance is reminding drivers to pay attention to the road to avoid a collision.

Over the four-day Labour Day weekend, an average of approximately 800 collisions are reported to MPI.

“This upcoming weekend is the unofficial end to summer, with an increase in traffic on the roads with people traditionally closing their cottages and recreational sites,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s chief customer officer.

“Heavy traffic on our roadways, combined with distracted driving is a dangerous mix.

MPI says distracted driving is a leading contributor to fatal crashes, linked to nearly 50 percent of all fatalities and 37 percent of all serious injuries last year. On average, there are two deaths and 90 people injured over the Labour Day weekend.

Friday is the most dangerous day of the September long weekend with 37 percent of the collisions happening on that day, compared to Saturday (27 percent), Sunday (16 percent) and Monday (20 percent).

“Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the responsibilities you have as a driver,” Jatana continued. “If something causes you to take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or your mind off the task of driving, it is a distraction. And being distracted, even if it’s just for a few seconds, is all it takes to cause a fatal crash.”