A quick internet search of tractor trailer accidents on the 401 reveals too many tragedies in 2019 alone for one person to sift through. Even if you filter your search for just Eastern Ontario you are shown a half dozen or more crashes just in the Whitby, Cobourg, Belleville, Kingston, Brockville to Cornwall corridor in the three Fall/Winter months of 2019 (see links at bottom).
It’s awful. How can we prevent these collisions?
Car safety is thankfully advancing every year. Why isn’t tractor trailer safety advancing along with it?
We wrote on the issue of self-driving or semi-autonomous cars previously.
Today any person buying a new personal vehicle can seek out a car or suv or pickup truck with technology that warns of vehicles in your blind spot, will vibrate your seat if you are getting too close to an object, can do controlled cruise control (keeps you at a specified distance and speed behind the vehicle you are trailing) and can even emergency brake for you to prevent rear end collisions.
Why don’t tractor trailers have these technologies?
Everyone knows that in Ontario and on the 401 there are two seasons – Winter, and Construction. Winter is dangerous for obvious reasons, and so is construction. When you review the tragic stories of the collisions on the 401 it is clear that many of them occur when tractor trailer trucks rear end traffic that is either stopped or slowed, and that this traffic is often either stopped or slowed due to weather or construction congestion.
The Provincial government needs to put pressure on auto manufacturers to implement the available technology, and also needs to pressure auto insurers to require the trucks to possess these advanced certain safety features in order to qualify for insurance. Until positive steps are taken we can only expect that these crashes will continue, and families will continue to suffer the deaths and injuries of loved ones.