#ShareTheRoad Saskatchewan: police targeting commercial vehicle safety in August
Aug. 2, 2016
Commercial vehicle safety is the province-wide traffic safety spotlight for the month of August.
Throughout the month, police will be on the lookout for commercial vehicles that are not in compliance with safety requirements, as well as commercial drivers exhibiting unsafe driving behaviours. Other drivers can also do their part when sharing the road with big trucks.
“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.”
Commercial drivers and their vehicles are held to a high standard of safety, and in the majority of collisions involving a commercial vehicle the driver of the other vehicle is responsible. 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.
That’s why it’s so important to exercise extra caution driving with trucks and other commercial vehicles. Their larger size and increased weight mean a limited ability to stop, manoeuvre, and quickly react in comparison to a regular passenger vehicle.
When it comes to sharing the road with trucks and commercial vehicles, it comes down to patience and awareness of your surroundings. SGI recommends drivers keep the following tips in mind:
- 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 manoeuvres.
- Use caution when crossing an intersection in front of an oncoming truck; their size may cause you to misjudge their speed.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of nearly 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link under Online Services on your motor licence issuer's website or SGI's website.