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Serious traffic injuries on the rise


2020 is right on track to be the worst year in a decade for serious and catastrophic injuries resulting from traffic accidents, according to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)
According to an MPI news release, serious injury claims have doubled so far this year.
As of the end of July, a total of 18 such claims - those resulting in quadriplegic, paraplegic and brain injury - have been opened with MPI.
In July alone, there were nine claims opened.
In comparison, there were nine and eight serious injury claims during the same time period in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Last year, overall, set a new record for the worst year in a decade with a total of 23 claims opened with MPI. On average, there are about 20 such injuries each year.
“While we’ve experienced a decrease of nearly 22,000 collision claims during the period of January to July 2020, compared to the same time frame in 2019, unfortunately serious injury counts are dramatically higher,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president of Employee and Community Engagement with MPI.
“These types of injuries typically result in very long hospitalization and recovery time for those affected. The injuries are devastating, often resulting in total or partial paralysis, amputation, serious brain injury or life-changing trauma. In some cases, the injured person may require care 24 hours a day.”
While traffic volumes still remain relatively low due to the pandemic, many drivers have dramatically increased their speeds.
The majority of serious injuries take place on rural roadways where speed limits are typically higher, increasing the severity of the crash.
Recently, MPI reported a 60 per cent increase in speed-related serious driving offences forwarded to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles from April to June.
As per the Drivers and Vehicles Act, speed infractions involving 50 k-h or more over the limit, are one of several offences that must be reported to the Registrar.
After receiving the serious offense notice roadside, drivers are given five business days to contact MPI to schedule a Show Cause Hearing regarding their license.

Staff Writer