Regina, Saskatchewan -- August 2, 2016 -- Every accident carries an element of danger, but it seems likely that collisions involving commercial vehicles have an even higher chance of serious injury or fatality.
According to a statement from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), there were 1,517 collisions involving commercial vehicles in the province in 2014. A total of 21 people were killed, and 373 were injured, in the course of these collisions.
On average, 15 per cent of traffic fatalities in Saskatchewan involve a large commercial vehicle, even though they account for less than three per cent of the vehicles on the road. However, in 87 per cent of fatal crashes involving a large truck, the action taken by the driver of the other vehicle was the major factor contributing to the collision.
“Regardless of who is responsible, in a collision with a big truck, the occupants of a passenger vehicle are more likely to be seriously injured or killed,” said Earl Cameron, Executive Vice President of the Auto Fund. “A fully-loaded truck can weigh up to 50 times more than a car, so other drivers need to be aware. The consequences of failing to safely share the road can be catastrophic.”
SGI is putting the focus on commercial vehicle safety this month, with police on the lookout for commercial vehicles that are not in compliance with safety requirements, as well as commercial drivers exhibiting unsafe driving behaviours.
No matter how safe or skilled the driver, the simple fact is that large commercial vehicles present a danger that passenger cars do not. SGI has provided the following tips to pass on to your customers to help keep them safe on the roads:
• Avoid the no-zone – the areas directly in front, behind and beside a truck. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors –the driver likely can’t see you either.
• Give yourself extra time and space when passing.
• Never cut in front of trucks; their large size means they take longer to stop.
• Avoid tailgating by maintaining a safe following distance behind big trucks.
• Be patient and give trucks space; they require more room to perform certain maneuvers.
• Use caution when crossing an intersection in front of an oncoming truck; their size may cause you to misjudge their speed.