Car drivers to blame for crashes with trucks (September 01, 2002)

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TORONTO, Ont. – A U.S. study has concluded most fatal accidents involving cars and tractor-trailers are caused by driver error, four-wheeled driver error.

The study was conducted for the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety and came as no surprise to the trucking industry.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) says the results are consistent with Canadian research previously conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Transport Canada, which consistently show car drivers are the ones found to be driving improperly in 70 to 80 per cent of the time.

OTA president David Bradley is using the opportunity to repeat his association’s call for training and testing on safely sharing the road with trucks to become a mandatory component of the Ontario Class ‘G’ licence test.

Information on how to safely share the road with trucks is not even contained in the provincial driver’s handbook.

The AAA study found that poor driving habits – such as improper lane discipline, failure to yield the right of way, speeding and driver inattention – by car drivers were to blame in 54 per cent of single car-truck fatal accidents in the U.S. from 1995 to ’98. The findings have prompted the giant U.S. car club to re-launch its public education campaign to teach car drivers how to share the road. OTA also has an extensive public education campaign to teach people about sharing. Videos, booklets and brochures are available free of charge from the fleet group. Additionally, extensive information is available from the OTA Web site at (see Road Sharing Tips).

“Generally speaking I think truck drivers get an unfair rap in terms of safety. They and their vehicles are clearly the safest on our highways,” says Bradley. Motorists who wish to obtain more information about OTA’s public education materials may contact the OTA at 416-249-7401 or

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