Prevent Rear-End Collisions

Put a BRAKE on collisions

In 2014, approximately 49 percent of intersection collisions in St. Albert involved rear-ended incidents. This is a five percent increase from 2013.

Rear-end collisions are caused by:

  • Following too close/tailgating
  • Failing to maintain the proper safe distance between two vehicles
  • Driver inattention/distracted driving
  • Failing to account for road conditions/hazardous road conditions
  • Speeding

St. Albert Trail is the key thoroughfare through the city and sees the highest volumes of traffic. The majority of rear-end collisions occur along three St. Albert Trail intersections (2012-2014):

  • St. Albert Trail & Giroux Road/Boudreau Road
  • St. Albert Trail & McKenney Avenue/Bellerose Drive
  • St. Albert Trail & Hebert Road/Gervais Road

How long does it take to stop?

The City of St. Albert’s Transportation Department found that the majority of collisions occurred due to drivers following too closely or tailgating the vehicle in front of them and not keeping an adequate stopping distance between them.

Stopping distance = reaction distance (driver reaction time) + braking distance of the vehicle. The distance depends on vehicle speed, vehicle maintenance condition and road surface condition. Stopping distance increases with speed and on wet/slippery pavement.

Reaction distance is the measurement of how far a vehicle travels between the time a driver realizes the brakes must be applied and when the driver starts applying the brakes. Once the brakes are applied, the vehicle begins to slow to a stop, and the distance travelled by the vehicle during this time is the braking distance. 

Graph showing the braking distance it takes on dry pavement at 40, 50, 60 and 70 km/hr

Graph showing the braking distance it takes on wet pavement at 40, 50, 60 and 70 km/hr

Relationship between Speed and Stopping Distance
Note: Distance calculated for one second reaction time


Two Seconds can Make or BRAKE a Collision

The optimal minimum distance between two vehicles at 60 km/hr (speed limit on St. Albert Trail) = 30 meters during typical and good road conditions. And when the roads turn slippery, the safe stopping distance you need to avoid a rear-end collision on St. Albert Trail, doubles.


How far apart is 30 meters?

At 60 km/hr, 30 meters = 2 seconds. To measure this distance when driving, use a stationary object up ahead (such as a streetlight or sign) and count from when the vehicle in front of you reaches it to when you reach the object.

As a pilot project, the City will be installing new educational signs in two locations to remind motorists to drive defensively and to keep a minimum distance of 30 meters between vehicles along St. Albert Trail. Signs will be installed approximately 200 meters before the following intersections:

  • St. Albert Trail and Giroux Road/Boudreau Road
  • St. Albert Trail and McKenney Avenue/Bellerose Drive

Illustration of sign that says Stay Back Minimum of 30m

In order to determine what affect the educational signs are having, if any, on driver behaviour, the third intersection at St. Albert Trail & Hebert Road/Gervais Road will not receive a sign to see if other influences are occurring.

Related Pages

Last edited: November 29, 2019