A transport truck in the WB ditch of Hwy. 401, May 13, 2016 (Photo courtesy of Chatham-Kent OPP)

Truck crashes are caused by two driver behaviours: OPP

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is blaming two driving behaviours for almost half of all truck crashes.

The OPP is reporting that 40 per cent of all transport truck crashes in Ontario last year involved a commercial driver who either made an improper lane change or was following a vehicle too closely.

Provincial police officers responded to 7,674 transport truck collisions last year that resulted in 63 people getting killed while 1,142 of the crashes caused injuries. Nearly 75 per cent of the people killed in the crashes were passengers in other vehicles and nearly 80 per cent of last year’s transport truck-related collisions were multi-vehicle crashes.

“Road safety is dependent on commercial drivers who recognize that these large, heavy-load trucks need to be driven with the utmost safety in mind and are committed to flawless driving habits and meticulous vehicle maintenance practices,” said Thomas Carrique, the new Commissioner of the OPP. “Reducing the number of transport truck collisions also requires that other motorists share the road safely with them.”

The OPP said improper lane changes, inattentive driving and following too closely were also factors in almost half of all OPP-investigated transport truck crashes over the past five years.

“Collisions involving transport trucks and heavy passenger vehicles often result in injury and death. Big trucks cannot stop quickly so we need to be aware and leave room for them on the road,” added Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario. “The OPP enforce strict laws to ensure Ontario roads remain the safest in North America. We each have a responsibility to drive with care and vigilance and it is imperative that all commercial vehicle drivers be trained to be among the safest motorists on the road.”

Provincial police are getting ready for “Operation Corridor”, an annual 24-hour enforcement and education campaign conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation. The initiative targets commercial vehicle drivers with the goal of reducing deaths, injuries and collisions that involve commercial motor vehicles. “Operation Corridor” runs on Thursday and Friday across Ontario.