Manitoba

Serious motor vehicle injuries spiked in first half of 2020, MPI says

Manitoba is on track to have one of the worst years in a decade for serious injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents, Manitoba Public Insurance says. 

Ticket reports show more people are speeding, causing bad collisions, says Manitoba Public Insurance

MPI says it has seen more than double the amount of serious/catastrophic injury claims in the first half of 2020 that it usually sees in the same time period. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Manitoba is on track to have one of the worst years in a decade for serious injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents, Manitoba Public Insurance says.

By the end of June, Manitobans had opened 18 claims that involved serious or catastrophic injuries, MPI said in a news release Friday. Serious or catastrophic injuries are defined as those that result in total or partial paralysis, amputation or brain injury, or involve other life-changing, traumatic injury.

By comparison, there were only eight and nine such claims filed during the same time period in 2019 and 2018, respectively. 

MPI estimates there are about 20 such injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions per year in the province, on average. 

"These types of injuries typically result in very long hospitalization and recovery time for those affected," said Satvir Jatana, vice president of employee and community engagement for Manitoba Public Insurance, in a news release. 

"In some cases, the injured person may require care 24 hours a day."

Despite fewer drivers on the road because of the pandemic, more people appear to be speeding, MPI says. 

MPI reported a 60 per cent increase in serious speed-related driving offences, where the infraction is 50 km/h or more over the limit, in April and June this year. MPI is notified about those offences by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

The majority of these serious or catastrophic injuries happen on rural roadways, where speed limits are higher, making collisions more severe, MPI said.

RCMP said 41 people have died from vehicle collisions on rural roads this year, as of July 6. That's a jump from 31 deaths by the same time last year.

The average number of fatalities in the same time period in the past five years is 35.

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