As border restrictions begin to ease and we head into the school holiday period, it’s never been more important to pay attention and share the road.
NTI’s National Truck Accident Research Centre has, for the first time, analysed the way fatal crashes involving a car and truck occur. It was found that in 80 per cent of these collisions, the car driver was at fault.
NTI Chief Executive Officer, Tony Clark hopes this knowledge will help protect both car and truck drivers as we head into the busy school holiday period.
“Almost half of fatal crashes involving a car and truck (48%) were head on collisions from opposite directions,” Mr Clark said.
“Close to a third (29%) were T-bone crashes and 11% involved vehicles travelling in the same direction.”
Mr Clark said it was important all drivers share the road effectively.
"We understand many families and travellers are keen to get out of their houses and hit the road, but at the same time, transport operators are still working hard through the continuing COVID-19 crisis.
“Car drivers need to make sure they’re giving trucks plenty of time and space. Trucks take longer to break and slow down so risky manoeuvres like pulling out in front of a heavy vehicle can be dangerous.”
“We’re asking all road users to take their time, stick to the speed limit, avoid distractions, wear seat belts and of course, never drive under the influence."
Here’s our tips to stay safe and share the road these holidays:
Don’t cut in: Trucks are heavier than cars, so need more space when stopping. At 100km/hr a truck needs an extra 30m to come to a stop compared to a car travelling at the same speed.
Give trucks room to turn: Some trucks need extra room at corners, intersections and roundabouts. Trucks over 7.5m must carry a sign saying “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle”. This means the truck can legally use two lanes to make their turn, and may need to turn left across your path to turn left.
Be aware of blind spots: Remember – if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you!
Overtake with care: It takes about 25 seconds to overtake a large truck on the open road – a long time if you’re on the wrong side of the road. Make sure you have the time and clear visibility.
If you’re tired, take a break: Pulling over for a rest or simply getting out and stretching your legs can make a big difference when you’re feeling fatigued. Don’t put your life or others’ lives at risk just to be somewhere quickly.
Ditch the distractions: It goes without saying that you should never use your phone or any device while driving. Turn anything off that may be a distraction while driving, it only takes a split second to lose control of a vehicle and cause an accident.