No one will know why police have charged a truck driver who dragged a passenger car along Highway 401 after a video posted on social media brought attention to the January 13, 2020 incident. It is easy to make the judgment of the truck driver’s road rage or his obvious lack of basic attention for failing to see the car that was so close and easy to be seen.
Hundreds of thousands of drivers of trucks and cars travel along Highway 401 every day yet there is minimal attempt by authorities to explain and educate the public about the conflicts that occur due to the incompatibility of trucks and cars on the highway. Regrettably the public’s focus on the fact that police have charged the truck driver in the January 13th collision will take away the important opportunity to explain why a truck driver would have difficulty seeing a car in the vicinity of the truck’s right front corner and wheel. In an article posted on this Gorski Consulting website on January 16, 2020 we attempted to clarify that problem of truck driver visibility but no one else in the police or news media communities have followed up with similar attempts.
This is an example of the reality that the public obtains very little useful information about how and why collisions occur on major expressways such as Highway 401. While improvements such as better roadside barriers, more traffic lanes and more consistent roadway maintenance will help, keeping the public in the dark about collision causation will not.
Publicity of major truck collisions has reached the point where television shows dramatize the actions of towing personnel and police in the aftermath as if these are the most important matters that the public needs to know. Yet why a truck crashed or the consequences of failing to prevent that collision receives no attention. Presumably because producers believe it has less sensationalism value which draws the public to a story.