Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quebec Coroner's report on killing of three cyclists by driver

Here is the google translate version of the coroner's report on the death of three cyclists in 2012 when they were hit by a driver. The driver was not charged.  

Discussion on the radio about this report and road safety discussed the use of "rumble strips," which are holes dug in the edge of roads that "alert" drivers with a BIG vibration when they go off the edge of the road. Please NO rumble strips - these are highly dangerous to cyclists who need smooth road edges for safe cycling. 

(version original en français ici

Deaths of three cyclists on Highway 112 in Rougemont
May 14, 2012
Driver fatigue and dangerous road

The Coroner's Office presents the findings of the investigation reports of the coroner, Dr. Andre-H. Dandavino, about the death of Ms. Lyne Duhamel, 39, Sandra De La Garza Aquila, 36, and Christine Deschamps, 44. The three women died of internal bleeding secondary to multiple trauma after being hit by a truck while traveling by bicycle on Highway 112 in Rougemont May 14, 2010.

The collision

A group of six cyclists as part of a training camp for a triathlon undertakes from Brossard to get to Sherbrooke by Highway 112.May 14, 2010, in Rougemont, cyclists ride in a width of two to three feet into the right lane of Route 112 on a gravel shoulder is not suitable for bicycle traffic. They travel in a pack of two parallel columns of three each. A pickup truck travels in the right lane at the same time. Without his knowing the cause, the sound of first impact with a cyclist wake the driver who runs the truck into the left lane, hitting two other cyclists on track. The driver never braked and the truck struck the left column of the pack of cyclists by back and side.

Driver fatigue

Neither the cellular nor the mechanical condition of the truck, nor the absence of reflectors on bicycles are contributing factors to the collision and there is no evidence that alcohol, drugs or a medical condition could be causing the truck driver's behavior.

How to explain this yet easily avoidable collision? Mainly by the drowsy driver of the truck, which was struggling to get used to a new night work and whose sleep the night before had been disrupted for various reasons.

Added to this are other factors, the coroner advance: the use of cruise control that he believes significantly reduces drivers' vigilance, the road conditions that forced cyclists to move away from the edge of the road, the lack of shoulder movement that would have a safer and the fact that cyclists were rolling in a pack of two lines. This way to move contravenes section 486 of the Quebec Highway Safety, which states that the driver of a bicycle or a group of at least two bicycles must ride in single file.


As we enter the peak season and the bike in order to protect life, the coroner Dandavino recommends:
The Ministry of Transport of Quebec takes into consideration in establishing its program of upgrading roads, the pavement condition based on the cycle traffic, as the roads with high traffic density must have a paved shoulder to allow secure flow of bicycles.

That the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec  :
  • remember, when safety campaigns regarding sharing the road between vehicles and cyclists, as cyclists must comply with the regulations of the Highway Safety Code and ride in single file;
  • insists, in safety campaigns, the fact that the use of cruise control risk to trap motorists into a false sense of safe driving and reduce its vigilance when driving;
  • remember, when safety campaigns, road users to the dangers of driving while impaired by fatigue.
  • That Transport Canada requires road vehicle manufacturers to equip vehicles with systems for detecting drowsiness and loss of alertness of drivers.


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