Airdrie RCMP and Sheriff Integrated Traffic Units will increase public education and enforcement efforts related to commercial vehicles on Alberta highways throughout the month of June.
The initiative supports is designed to remind people that an essential part of the enforcement job is to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways, said Inspector James Stiles, Officer in Charge, K Division Traffic Services.
The focus will be on commercial vehicle safety and behaviours that put drivers, passengers and other road users most at risk: unsafe vehicle equipment safety; impaired driving; improper seat belt use; and intersection-related incidents involving drivers, riders and pedestrians.
“Statistically speaking, commercial vehicles make trips without incident most of the time,” said Stiles. “However, like all motorists, commercial vehicle drivers do get involved in collisions.”
Fatigue can play a role in large vehicle collisions. Truck drivers were more likely than all drivers in casualty collisions to be fatigued or asleep at the time of the crash. At 43 per cent, almost half of the truckers who were fatigued and involved in a casualty collision crashed between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The occupants of a passenger vehicle are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash with a big rig because of the physical differences in weight, stopping distance, and rollover potential.
It is important for automobile drivers to be aware of the prime constraints faced by the operators of heavy commercial vehicles. Big rigs take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. Increased braking time is required due to a number of factors including: size and weight of vehicles, condition of brakes, and temperature of brakes.
If you are driving behind or beside a commercial vehicle, ensure you are visible. If you are driving behind a truck and cannot see both mirrors, then you are too close to the truck. If you can see the truck driver’s face in the side mirror then he or she can see you.
If you are driving in front of a truck, always indicate your intention to turn or change lanes early as trucks require more stopping distance. If you are driving beside a truck, pay attention to its turn signals. Many trucks require a wide turning radius to complete a right-hand turn and may swing into another lane before starting a turn. Always maintain a safe distance behind big trucks.
“Commercial Vehicle safety is a key component of Road Safety Vision 2010, a national initiative with the aim to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world,” said Stiles.