Trucks Caused 20% of Cyclists Deaths Since 2005

At least a fifth of all cycling deaths in Montreal since 2005 are caused by collisions with heavy trucks and tractor-trailers, data obtained from Quebec’s coroner shows.

For a city with a huge number of active cyclists, about six people on average are killed while riding their bikes every year. Men were much more likely to die than women — 49 men have died, compared to just 10 women since 2005.

Cyclists are still most likely to die as a result of a collision with a car, accounting for 52 per cent of the deaths analyzed by CBC.

But when cyclists are hit by trucks, the collisions are often horrific. Cyclists are vulnerable because they are smaller and have so much less power compared to heavy machinery, and helmets don’t offer much, if any, protection in a collision.

The collisions are preventable and these horrific deaths shouldn’t be happening, according to one borough mayor.

Side guards on city trucks

In 2012, the borough decided to make side guards mandatory on trucks and heavy vehicles. Side guards are barriers located between the front and back wheels to keep pedestrians and cyclists from being drawn underneath.

“It’s a preventative measure, it’s something that improves public safety,” he said.

The borough retrofitted its existing fleet over three years and all new trucks are required to have the guards.