What You Need to Know:

  • People in passenger vehicles are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash with a larger vehicle than the occupants of the larger vehicle.
  • Trucks are not large cars. Whether they are accelerating, braking, climbing a hill, changing lanes or turning onto a side street, big trucks must regularly perform certain maneuvers that drivers of passenger vehicles are generally not familiar with.
  • It is not a good idea to drive beside a large truck for any length of time. Trucks have large blind spots and the driver might not be able to see you.
  • Large vehicles also take longer to stop than passenger vehicles, for a variety of reasons including the size and weight of the vehicle, condition of the vehicle’s brakes and temperature of its 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.
  • Almost 10,000 CVSA-certified officers will be inspecting commercial vehicles across North America on June 6-8, with a special focus on cargo securement. 

Commercial Vehicle Facts:

  • From 2011 to 2015, 2,647 truck tractors were involved in casualty collisions in Alberta.
  • There are more than 25,258 National Safety Code carriers in Alberta operating more than 145,290 commercial vehicles.
  • Tractor-trailers account for 2.0% of the total vehicles in casualty crashes, but 8.6% of the vehicles in fatal crashes (2015).
  • 447 people were killed and 9,422 were injured in collisions involving commercial vehicles (2011 to 2015).
  • 67.3% of drivers of other vehicles involved in fatal collisions with truck tractors and 42.8% in injury collisions committed a driving error. The most common errors were being left of centre, following too closely or violating a stop sign (2011 to 2015).  
  • The most common driving errors on the part of the truck tractor driver in casualty collisions were running off the road and following too closely.
  • Of the truck tractor drivers who were fatigued and involved in casualty collisions, about half (48.9%) crashed between 11pm and 7am (2011 to 2015).