Gateway Gazette

If You Can’t See the Driver of a Big Rig, the Driver Can’t See You Either

Big Rigs and safetyDrivers need to avoid No Zones – areas behind and alongside large commercial vehicles where the driver cannot see your vehicle.

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

“It is important for Albertans to understand the tremendous differences between commercial and passenger vehicles. Large commercial vehicles need longer to stop, manoeuvre and accelerate than passenger vehicles do – and these differences can result in tragedy if drivers are not careful.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“Professional commercial drivers are committed to safety. It is a shared responsibility of all highway users to drive according to the conditions and obey the rules and regulations of the road. Together we can make a difference in reducing collisions and incidents on Alberta highways.”

Richard Warnock, President & CEO, Alberta Motor Transport Association

Commercial Vehicle Facts

  • From 2009 to 2013, 2,389 truck tractors were involved in casualty collisions in Alberta. There were 222 people killed and 2,841 people injured in these collisions. The deaths include 25 truck-tractor drivers, 10 of whom were killed in single vehicle rollover crashes.
  • There are more than 26,700 National Safety Code carriers in Alberta that operate more than 126,000 commercial vehicles.
  • Tractor-trailers were two per cent of the total vehicles in casualty crashes, but 9.2 per cent of the vehicles in fatal crashes (2013).
  • 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.

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