What mistakes do both car and truck drivers make which contribute to crashes?
June 1, 2006
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - A recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may have toppled some long-held beliefs about how safe truck drivers really are. Though most truckers wi...
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – A recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may have toppled some long-held beliefs about how safe truck drivers really are. Though most truckers will tell you that accidents between a car and truck are the four-wheeler’s fault the vast majority of the time, the study, which compiled data from a hundreds of crashes involving cars and trucks, found that the driver of the car in each accident was only at fault 56% of the time. In addition to those findings, the study also revealed that 88% of all crashes sampled were caused by the drivers, not by mechanical or environmental problems.
Truck West stopped by the Husky Truck Stop on Shawson Drive in Mississauga, Ont. to find out what accident-friendly mistakes both car and truck drivers should steer clear of to help prevent crashes.
Mike Muise, an independent furniture mover, says motorists need to be educated on what it takes for a truck to stop.
“Cars cut in front of us and hit their brakes all the time. I actually had a couple of young (car) drivers tell me, ‘Oh yeah, I love cutting in front of you guys. You guys can stop on a dime,'” Muise said. “We need to show these guys some videos from the point-of-view of the truck.”
Muise says truck drivers are often equally at fault, with many young truckers riding a foot away from cars’ bumpers.
“I’ve got to admit, there’s a lot of truck drivers out there that shouldn’t be driving trucks.”
Brendon Simpson, an independent driver from North York, says that both cars and trucks need to be more aware of their surroundings. As a straight truck driver, Simpson said he sees most of the poor habits coming from the bigger trucks.
“As far as trucks go, I don’t think they care – the big guys. They’ll just cut into your lane,” he says. “They need to be a little more aware of what’s around them.”
Calvin Terry, a driver with H&R Transport, said cell phone use is one of the worst accident-causing habits he sees.
“A lot of people are talking on cell phones when they should be paying attention to the road, especially when the traffic’s really heavy. And it’s not just car drivers, I see truck drivers doing it too,” he said.
Terry also agrees with Simpson when it comes to both cars and trucks being more aware of their surroundings.
“Car drivers don’t respect the amount of space a truck needs and truck drivers in turn don’t leave themselves that space. As professional drivers, they should be aware of what’s beside them and what their options are.”
Gordon Rousseau, an owner/operator with Calvinson Transport in Scarborough, Ont. said a common mistake he sees is people not checking their mirrors when changing lanes or entering traffic off a ramp.
“Cars and trucks alike do the same thing: they come off the ramp and they stop the traffic on the highway because they just pull out even though they’re the ones who’re supposed to yield to traffic. They just come out without stopping which puts us at a risk of hitting them.”