Gaps between vehicles following each other on Highway 401 is another safety issue that Gorski Consulting is examining in the videos that were obtained from four sites. This data has already been documented at three of the four sessions (Westminster Drive Oct 30-18, Graham Road, and Dillon Road). We are now reviewing the data for the last session, Westminster Drive Dec 2-18. These results will be posted in the next couple of days.
Just to refresh some readers, Gorski Consulting commenced a safety evaluation this fall of the Highway 401 corridor between London and Tilbury, Ontario in response to a number of concerns expressed by local citizens. Videotaping was performed at four sites as shown in the figure below.
In the 1980s, Zygmunt Gorski was employed as an Accident Investigator with the University of Western Ontario Multi-Disciplinary Accident Research Team. This team was funded by Transport Canada to explore how injuries were being sustained in accidents and how those injuries could be avoided for reduced. In that time there was considerable controversy over the number of median cross-over collisions on Highway 401 that were resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Eventually an inquest was held in 1989 with respect to one of those incidents. As a representative of the Team’s research, Zygmunt Gorski gave testimony to the inquest providing a rundown of the objective evidence from 62 collisions. Because those collisions were part of a random sampling methodology they actually represented a sample of over 1200 collisions. Shortly afterward the building of a concrete median barrier was commenced between London and Woodstock. In later years the concrete barrier was continued all the way to Kitchener. A similar barrier was built between Windsor and Tilbury. However no barrier was built in the remaining distance between Tilbury and London until a cable barrier began to be installed in the past year. Since leaving the Team in 1990 Zygmunt Gorski continued work as an Accident Reconstrutionist with a forensic engineering firm, followed in 1995, with the opening of his own firm, Gorski Consulting, specializing in similar accident reconstruction issues.
The issue of the safety of Canada’s busiest highway is an important one and requires objective data in order to reach proper conclusions. Yet very little of that objective data is available to the general public. It is ultimately the public that votes for their political representatives and produces the momentum toward change. When the public is provided with no meaningful information or is misinformed, the direction of change is not in a positive direction. By providing the public with meaningful objective data Gorski Consulting is meeting the need of the public for information it needs to provide informed opinions.