Ministry of Transportation's Annual Road Safety Report for 2001,
released Feb. 26 this year, showed tractor-trailers and their drivers
are the safest vehicles and drivers on the road.
data shows that when persons were killed in collisions involving
trucks, the truckdriver was not at fault in the vast majority of
cases. For 2001, the truckdriver was deemed to have been driving
properly in 72 percent of fatal collisions.
studies, including a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety,
suggest car drivers are at fault 70 percent to 80 percent of the
time when there are car-truck collisions. Mike Irwin, the Lansing,
MI-based Michigan Center for Truck Safety, says 70 percent of accidents
involving trucks are caused by cars, because motorists don’t realize
that trucks have four major blind spots – in the front, rear and
on both sides.
In 2001, tractor-trailer
units, including double-trailer combinations and bobtail tractors,
represented 1.8 percent of all vehicles involved in all collisions
on Ontario roadways. Moreover, the big rigs accounted for 6.5 percent
of all the vehicles involved in all fatal collisions that year.
the Canadian study, the actual number of persons killed in all truck
collisions (including straight trucks as well as tractor-trailer
units) decreased by more than 4.5 percent in 2001 to 143 and were
down more than 16 percent from their peak of the previous five years,
which occurred in 1999.
The study also
found truckdrivers were also the least likely to be drinking and
driving. The report found that in 2001, drinking and driving was
a factor in 2.3 percent of truckdrivers involved in fatal collisions,
compared with more than 16 percent for the entire driving population
report also found that vehicle defects were a factor in 6 percent
of trucks involved in fatal collisions in 2001. The report found
there were 1.25 million trucks registered in Ontario in 2001 – 161,737
for which a Class A driver's license is required. It also found
there were more than 95,500 holders of a Class A driver's license
in Ontario that year.