1 in 5 fatal Ontario road crashes involves a transport truck

Significant number of collisions caused by trucks in poor operating condition

1 in 5 fatal Ontario road crashes involves a transport truck
A rescue worker runs a cable to an overturned truck on the Champlain Bridge leading into Montreal, June 10, 2008. Seven trailer trucks were overturned on the bridge when a severe storm passed through Montreal. REUTERS/Shaun Best

Transport truck-related collisions continue to take a significant toll on human life on Ontario roads, with one in five road crashes involving large commercial vehicles. 


"A lot can go wrong when large commercial transport trucks are not driven safely or have unsecured loads and defective equipment,” said Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) chief superintendent Chuck Cox. “Our data shows that the outcome for other vehicle occupants involved in transport truck-related collisions is often fatal and catastrophic.”


Among the 1,342 fatal motor vehicle collisions on OPP-patrolled roads between 2012 and 2016, 266 involved transport trucks. During the same five-year period, 330 people died — the majority of victims were occupants of other involved vehicles. According to OPP data, 44 of the crash victims were drivers of the transport trucks, compared to 286 victims who were in cars and other smaller vehicles.

More recent data reveals that over the past three years, a significant number of collisions were caused by transport trucks in poor operating condition. Between July 2014 and June 2017, 344 collisions involved defective transport trucks, six of which were fatal and 37 of which resulted in injuries.  

Damaged axles, blown tires or detached wheels, faulty brakes, defective hitches and unsecured loads are just some of the many factors in truck-related crashes. At times, unsecured loads or truck equipment flying into the path of other vehicles produced tragic consequences.