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 National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) report released at the Australian Trucking Association’s National Trucking Conference found the trend has Australia within a generation of achieving zero deaths from crashes involving heavy vehicles.
Report author Adam Gibson, of National Transport Insurance, said: “To put the figures in perspective, the decline in the number of heavy-vehicle involved deaths between the 2017 and 2019 reports equates to 1545 lives being saved”.
The report also found nation-wide, the overall number of crashes caused by fatigue was down.
“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% of major crashes, down from 20% 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% 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% and 40% 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.”
Australian Trucking Association Chair Geoff Crouch welcomes the results although says 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,” Mr Crouch said.
“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,” he 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,” Mr Gibson said.
The full report can be accessed here.