OPP: number of at-fault CMV drivers is “disturbing”

TORONTO, ON – Commercial motor vehicle drivers are considered at-fault in about 65% of the collisions they are involved in, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

In a broadcast from his Periscope Tuesday night, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) wanted to “talk heavy trucks” while promoting the second season of his Discovery channel show Heavy Rescue: 401.

Schmidt said collisions on provincially patrolled highways for the first 22 days of this year are up by 100% over the same time in 2017.

Of the more than 4,200 collisions already recorded for 2018, 455 of those – or 10.6% – involved heavy trucks, which is consistent with previous years.

So far the total number of fatalities involving all drivers is 29, with those occurring over 20 collisions. Just six of those fatal collisions involved commercial trucks.

In 2017 there were about 7,000 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) collisions out of a total of more than 62,000 collisions recorded for the year. Just 75 – or 1% – of those involving CMVs were fatal.

“One thing that is disturbing and is upsetting for a lot of people is the fact of the number of collisions that we’ve investigated involving transport trucks, which vehicles are determined to be the at-fault driver,” said Schmidt.

The number of CMV drivers fount at-fault in collisions involving heavy trucks is 66% for this year so far – a 1% gain over last year’s number. When added to the total number of collisions involving all road users, commercial motor vehicle drivers are considered at-fault just 7% of the time.

“Now in some of those crashes it might have only been a single vehicle crash. If the transport truck was involved in a single vehicle wreck – jack-knifed into something on his own – there would be no other vehicle to be considered to be at fault, so obviously the driver would be at fault.”

Schmidt said he wanted the help of all drivers to make 2018 the safest year on record for Ontario highways.

Citing an awards ceremony he attended recently at Transpro Freight Systems in Milton, Ontario, Schmidt said it was good to see fleets rewarding drivers for their safe behavior.

“The most important thing, obviously, is pay attention when you’re on the roads and look where you’re going. Hands on the wheel, head in the game.”

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