Mike Morigeau, owner of Mike's Driver Education, told the Edmonton Sun "rollovers have become so common we don't even print them any more."
He believes the best way to keep rigs from rolling over is to show drivers how easy it is to get into a rollover situation.
Morigeau, an accident reconstructionalist who has worked for the provincial government, insurance companies and law firms, says reducing the number of rollovers could save the Canadian trucking industry as much as $150,000 a day in insurance costs.
"All insurance companies cover big trucks. When (drivers) flop one over, you're very fortunate if the claim is less than $50,000," he told the paper. "I'm just sick and tired of looking at crashes that could have been avoided."
Morigeau says the best way to teach drivers to avoid rollovers is to put them in the cab of a relatively slow-moving truck as it begins to tip. Working on the theory people retain 20% of what they hear, 40% of what they're shown, and 90% of what they experience first-hand, he has developed a system allowing drivers to experience rollover conditions in safety.
"We want to put something in their minds that they're never going to forget," he told the Sun. "What we're trying to do is show drivers how to slow down and do the speed limit and, in some cases, slower."
Morigeau has created a trailer that uses an outrigger he has on loan from the National Research Council, which is designed to help research conditions leading to crashes. The set-up allows students to experience the initial stages of a rollover while preventing the tractor and trailer from ending up on their sides.
"These are like large training wheels on a bicycle," he says. "They put the trailer right on its side" without letting it go all the way over.
The article said Morigeau charges $150 per student for a special one-day course. So far, the Canadian military has shown interest in the demonstration, and one or two training schools have recommended their students take the rollover course as well.