Avoid the Blind Spot Beside Large Trucks

June’s traffic safety campaign focuses on educating drivers about the differences between commercial vehicles and smaller passenger vehicles.

Occupants of a passenger vehicle are more likely to be killed or injured in a collision with a large commercial vehicle because of the differences in weight, stopping distance and rollover potential.

Between 2011 and 2015, 447 people were killed and 9,422 were injured in collisions involving commercial vehicles in Alberta. Of these, 235 people were killed and 3,042 people were injured in collisions with truck tractors.

“The safe operation of large commercial vehicles on Alberta highways is important to our economy and to the health and well-being of everyone using the highway network. Safety is a shared responsibility among all road users, and everyone needs to be cautious and aware when big trucks are travelling our highways.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“We’re making Alberta’s highways a better place, for both the transportation industry and the public, with a steadfast focus on safety. Our members have developed transportation training programs to ensure their drivers operate safely and have clear-cut confidence behind the wheel. That confidence, paired with Alberta Transportation’s dedication to sharing monthly Traffic Safety focuses with the public, shows both the AMTA and the province is committed to protecting and improving our roads.”

Lorraine Card, president, Alberta Motor Transport Association

In conjunction with this month’s campaign, Road Check 2017, run by Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers, will operate a series of commercial vehicle safety checks on Alberta roads and highways in June to heighten awareness of safety standards in the province.

Commercial vehicle facts

  • From 2011 to 2015, 2,647 truck tractors were involved in casualty collisions in Alberta.
  • There are 25,717 National Safety Code carriers in Alberta operating 128,458 commercial vehicles.
  • Tractor-trailers account for two per cent of the total vehicles in casualty crashes, but 8.6 per cent of the vehicles in fatal crashes (2015).
  • Large vehicles have large blind spots, if you can’t see the driver, odds are they can’t see you either.
  • Large vehicles take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. This increased braking time is due to a number of factors, including the size and weight of the vehicle, condition of the vehicle’s brakes and temperature of the brakes.
  • Leave at least three metres between your vehicle and the rear of a truck stopped at a light or stop sign, especially on a hill.
  • Trucks will usually swing slightly to the left before making a right-hand turn; do not assume the driver is turning left.