The latest statistics released show that safety levels in the trucking industry are improving and fatal truck crashes are down. The figures were released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) recently and were welcomed by the industry with the proviso, we could do better.
Last week, the Australian Trucking Association appeared before a Senate committee and pointed out the massive safety benefits of mandating autonomous emergency braking for new trucks. It also called for stability control to be mandated for new rigid trucks, as well as new prime movers and heavy trailers, and stronger truck driver licensing standards.
The deaths on the road in crashes involving articulated trucks came to 93 in all. Of these, 75 were involved in multi-vehicle crashes and 14 were in single vehicle incidents. The remaining four were pedestrians. Of the 93, 64 of those killed were drivers, either of the truck or any other vehicle involved.
Unfortunately, the BITRE figures do not attribute blame in the statistics published, but research carried out by NTI does consistently show, in a fatal accident with a truck, the light vehicle is to blame in 93 per cent of the cases.
During the 12 months to the end of September 2018, 169 people died from 152 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks. These included 93 deaths from 84 crashes involving articulated trucks, 86 deaths from 76 crashes involving heavy rigid trucks and 10 deaths from 8 crashes involving both a heavy rigid truck and an articulated truck.
Fatal crashes involving heavy trucks: decreased by 10.1 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier (from 169 to 152 crashes) and decreased by an average of 2.2 per cent per year over the three years to September 2018.
Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks: decreased by 16 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier (from 100 to 84 crashes) and decreased by an average of 1.6 per cent per year over the three years to September 2018.
Fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks: were unchanged compared with the corresponding period one year earlier (from 76 crashes) and increased by an average of 0.3 per cent per year over the three years to September 2018.