Most social media posts found it amusing that a load of beer from a rear-ending truck was spilt onto Highway 3 at EC Row Expressway in Windsor on November 5, 2020. If only such attention was focused on why and how such serious impacts occur.

In a December 16, 2018 article posted to the Gorski Consulting website the results of observations of tail-gating vehicles on Highway 401 were shown from videotaping sessions at four different sites. Without funding or additional help it was not possible to analyse the full two hours of data from each site. Instead, only 15 minutes was analysed from each site. A summary of those results was provided in the following text taken from that article:

“Although the numbers are small they suggest that the most common combination of one vehicle following less than 2 seconds behind another is where a non-truck is being followed by another non-truck. The least common is where a heavy truck is following a non-truck. These results may be surprising considering the comments made by various drivers of passenger cars and light trucks claiming that aggressive truck drivers attempt to drive them off the road by their close tail-gating. These preliminary data may suggest that it is more common that the drivers of passenger cars and light trucks and van are the ones who do more tail-gating than the drivers of heavy trucks. However the small numbers of observations in this study make these judgments non-conclusive. Exploration of the full 2 hours of videotape from each session might help to solidify what is the actual case.”

This work is obviously incomplete and a full analysis would be helpful. Such base data would help those in the general public who have essentially no information about how and why rear-end collisions occur but feel the need to express their opinions, often due to their wish to change the course of these events. It is encouraging to note that some persons are interested enough to make their comments. However they also need solid, objective evidence to use in their commentary.