Manitoba drivers could be facing insurance rate hikes after one of the worst months on record for crashes. 

Nearly 30,000 collision claims have been made over the past six weeks, according to Manitoba Public Insurance.

Two cars in ditch

Two more cars are seen in the ditch along McGillivray Boulevard on Thursday. (Catherine Dulude/CBC)

Thousands of those are the direct result of drivers losing control on ice or going too fast for the conditions and not being able to stop.

"Driving is challenging under the best of road and weather conditions,” said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president of community relations for MPI, said in a release.

“Winter weather conditions — extreme cold, heavy snow, slush, freezing rain — can change dramatically during a very short period of time. Drivers need to adjust just as quickly. By doing so, a collision could be avoided.”

There will likely be another bundle of claims being made after Thursday's crash-filled morning. Gusting winds, icy roads and poor visibility left ditches along highways in the Winnipeg area strewn with vehicles.

In addition to the bad road conditions, many accidents can still be blamed on driver inattention, said MPI spokesman Brian Smiley.

"I am going to suggest that some of them are still texting, and I am going to suggest that some of them are not paying attention to the task at hand, which is driving," he said.

MPI will put in its annual rate application in June with the Public Utilities Board, and it will consider the expenses it faces due to the rash of crashes, Smiley said.

"What we are seeing in December and January will be taken into account when we apply for general rate application this summer for 2015-2016. What we are seeing right now, in terms of the high volume of accidents, is not good," he said.