When it comes to heavy vehicles, watch out for blind spots!

QUEBEC, June 7 – Motorists are often unfamiliar with the magnitude of the blind spots that heavy-vehicle drivers have to contend with, and many avoidable accidents occur as a result. CAA-Quebec therefore decided once again to hold its popular Eye-Opener activity at ClubFeelGood in Saint-Laurent, in collaboration with the Ecole du routier professionnel du Qu�bec and the Ecole nationale de camionnage et �quipement lourd.

As part of this activity, which coincides this year with National Transportation Week, CAA-Quebec demonstrated the significant number of blind spots all around — and even in front of — road trains and semi-trailers. “A car that is travelling less than 124 metres behind a heavy vehicle will not be seen by the driver of the heavy vehicle,” said Yvon Lapointe, Director, Traffic Safety and Automotive Research, CAA-Quebec.

According to statistics from the Soci�t� de l’assurance automobile du Qu�bec, an average of 3,400 people suffered minor, serious, or fatal injuries each year between 2000 and 2004 in accidents involving heavy trucks. Among the victims, 54.9% were travelling in a car, 24.4% were in a heavy vehicle, and 0.9% were riding a motorcycle.

CAA-Quebec is very active in road-safety education and, as a member of the Table qu�b�coise de la s�curit� routi�re (a road-safety awareness forum), the organization is committed to making motorists aware of this issue. Three times out of five, motorists are responsible for accidents involving a heavy vehicle.

“There are more and more of these monstrous vehicles on our roads,” Mr. Lapointe added. “To be safe, motorists must maintain an adequate distance between themselves and a heavy vehicle, they must ensure that they are always within view of heavy-vehicle drivers, and they must remain in their blind spots as briefly as possible, particularly when passing, which can take more than one minute over a distance of 1.5 kilometres.”

In light of the many programs it offers its members, the general public, various companies, and even general and vocational colleges — particularly with respect to defensive-driving training provided to students in the police technology program — CAA-Quebec is recognized for its road-safety expertise. Founded in 1904, CAA-Quebec provides a wide array of automotive, travel, residential, and financial services, benefits and privileges to its 840,000 members. For more information, visit www.caaquebec.com.