VICTORIA, BC – With one-in-five traffic fatalities in BC involving large commercial vehicles, road safety insiders are calling for drivers to be more careful around trucks.
The Be Truck Aware campaign was launched in time for Operation Safe Driver week, when officers across North America will be ticketing drivers for failing to share the road and follow safe driving practices.
The new BC safety campaign was kicked-off Tuesday, and is aimed at reducing car-truck crashes, which put the passengers of the car at a much higher likelihood of injury. While only 1% of collisions on BC roads involve commercial vehicles, they are involved in 20% of fatal collisions.
Car drivers are being asked to leave space for large trucks that need extra room to stop and turn, ensure they can see both headlights in the rearview mirror before merging in front of a truck, and be visible to trucks by staying out of their blind spots.
Lindsay Matthews, director of road safety for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), said the group wants drivers to take precautions around trucks.
“We’re asking drivers to consider their own driving behavior around large trucks. If we want our roads to be safer, we first need to start with ourselves,” she said.
The group is also putting out safety tips for truck drivers, so they can do their part to help and avoid costly collisions.
Ensuring brakes and tires are in top condition to minimize stopping distances, adjusting speed and driving in poor road conditions, staying sharp and focused by getting plenty of rest and eliminating in-cab distractions, and making sure loads are well-balanced and secure to reduce the likelihood of a crash and its impact on others, are some of the precautions the campaign is hoping truck drivers will take.
The Be Truck Aware website launched with the awareness campaign, and features videos, tips for car and truck drivers, studies, and other resources for road users.