In 2011 Quebec experienced a traffic accident so massive and deadly that the investigation of the crash took three years to complete.
That February a van carrying farm workers home from their jobs collided with a school bus. Five men died in the collision. Recently the investigation drew to a close, and the coroner, Quoc-Bao Do, concluded that the cause of the collision was driver fatigue.
The coroner has recommended that the awareness campaign about the dangers of drowsy driving (see below) be strengthened, and signs be posted on highways throughout Quebec reminding drivers to pull over and rest.
Coroner Do likens drowsy driving to drunk driving – a comparison we’ve heard before and one we find convincing – and recommends strict penalties and fines for those found to be driving while impaired by fatigue.
The gradual nature of tiredness, as well as its universality among drivers, makes drowsy driving a thorny problem, but it is one with genuine consequences that governments and safety advocates are only beginning to comprehend and grapple with.
Below, Quebec’s take on drowsy driving: