The new report from the National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) reckons its survey shows truck fatalities are down. These new national figures show the number of fatalities involving trucks has dropped 14 per cent in 2 years with predictions we could see zero truck-involved fatalities from 2032.
An analysis of Australia’s largest database of major crashes involving heavy vehicles shows a downward trend, with the number of fatal truck accidents the lowest in nearly two decades.
The NNTARC report has been released at the Australian Trucking Association’s National Trucking Conference. NTARC reckons it found the trend has Australia within a generation of achieving zero deaths from crashes involving heavy vehicles. The report also found nation-wide, the overall number of crashes caused by fatigue was down.
“To put the figures in perspective, the decline in the number of heavy-vehicle involved deaths between the 2003 and 2019 reports equates to 1545 lives being saved,” said report author Adam Gibson, from National Transport Insurance. “Encouragingly, we’ve seen the lowest number of fatigue-related crashes in the report’s 16-year history.”
Fatigue was the cause of 9.8 per cent of major crashes, down from 20 per cent a decade ago.”
A State-by-State breakdown reveals:
- two out of every five serious fatigue accidents occur in New South Wales
- the risk of a fatigue accident occurring in Queensland is 51 per cent higher than the national average
- in Western Australia, 15 per cent of the State’s major truck crashes are the result of fatigue
Fatigue-related crashes in Victoria and South Australia decreased in the last two years by 68 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.
“As an industry, we welcome new technology which alerts drivers to their fatigue, so that they might take a break and rest, before there’s any loss of life,” said Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair, in welcoming the results although stating there is still work to be done. “We need to see a strong commitment from our government for practical safety solutions like an improved truck driver licensing system and mandatory safety technologies for new trucks.
“The ATA is working hard to improve safety outcomes, focusing on the improvement and increase of heavy vehicle rest areas, making the fatigue laws more flexible and hearing from drivers first-hand what they think will work, as we are doing this week at our Trucking Australia conference.”
At the end of his presentation Adam said, “As we head into the Easter school holidays, we are urging all road users to take extra care to ensure everyone makes it home safely.”